And here it is- the end of the line. I can’t believe we’re already through all 14 days of my Rock’n’Roll Christmas celebration! Remind me to never do this again.
Today’s song is my original Christmas tune, “Christmas Morning”, that I wrote back in high school! I personally think every artist has ONE good Christmas song in them. And, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure that I’d ever be able to come up with another one as catchy as this one, so I don’t think I’m going to try!
I recorded this song for the first time back in 2004 for our Christmas album, “Our Christmas Gift To You”. At the time, I was just getting used to playing the guitar and recording with my digital 24-track. I had basic microphones, too. Now, I have a Cab Clone to record my guitars, various tube amps, high quality mics, compressors, preamps, and…the same 24 track mixer. But, if you’ve heard both versions, you can really tell a big difference. I’ll probably end-up recording this again in the future after my equipment gets even better!
My wife Becky helps me sing on this tune, too. I was going to have my brother Mike help out, but he was sick when he came home for Thanksgiving, so he couldn’t sing on it. Next time, though!
I hope you’ve had as much fun reading and listening to these Christmas songs as I have making them. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me to do all of this while being so busy otherwise. I hope I can maybe just do one song a year from now on, just to keep me into the recording process. Enjoy “Christmas Morning” and have a Merry Christmas!
Hello and welcome to not only another Laptop Session music video, but also a special treat from the three songwriters who bring you an acoustic cover a day EVERY day in 2008…
This is a little something we like to call Triple Threat Tuesday. What this means is today you will receive not one, not two, not four, but THREE video blog entries. Each video will be a cover version of Bob Dylan’s 1969 song “Tonight I’ll Be Stayin’ Here With You.” It’s such a great track that we couldn’t agree on just one person to record an acoustic cover of it… so all three of us will take a stab at it! This song originally appeared on the first fully country-rock Dylan album, appropriately titled Nashville Skyline. This album is filled with very simple, upbeat, and brief (under 3 minutes each) songs, not to mention they’re all sung in his “Lay, Lady, Lay” voice and Johnny Cash himself makes a special guest appearance on the opening track. I’ve heard better duets, but there are few things better than hearing two giants like Cash and Dylan harmonize (however loosely) on such a great song as “Girl from the North Country.” Dylan actually originally released that song on his 1962 acoustic album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.
Personally, my favorite version of this song is Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue version, recorded in 1975 and released in the Bootleg series. He changes the words around and, although they’re a bit more blunt than the original, I love them and think they work well for this acoustic cover rendition. But that’s the beauty of cover songs — they give songwriters like us endless opportunities to perfect our own skills and to end some of our own style to the track. For instance, I can bet that Jim’s version will be faithful to the original, as he loves that album. He could have bet money that I would go for the obscure live lyrics, since I love Bob Dylan and have probably heard more live versions of this song than the average person should.
As Jim explained yesterday, I must follow up — it’s great to be back online. This music blog has been a lot of work for us and I can’t imagine losing the session – a – day promise this far into the game! We’re building more and more each day, and now that I’m on summer break from teaching, I’ll be able to devote all my attention toward my creative pursuits.
See you next session!
Jeff’s version is no longer on YouTube, but here’s…
Jim’s version: Recorded the night of, using my new video filters and amazing USB microphone- just listen to the audio quality of this acoustic cover song!
Welcome, welcome to yet another edition of the Laptop Sessions here with me, Jim Fusco!
Oh, yeah, keeping the dream alive tonight with yet ANOTHER “new” band to the Laptop Sessions. This one is probably the biggest shame left that we haven’t covered because…they’re ACOUSTIC! Simon and Garfunkel stand as one of the most influential and popular acts of all time. I was just talking to my father about them the other day. He pointed out that they’re the best of friends, but just can’t seem to work together. That’s the way it’s always been with my brother Mike and I. We get along so well…as long as we’re not working on anything together. I ‘m always so steadfast in realizing this fact, but Mike tends to either forget or just disregard it. Thus, we end up working together again and the whole cycle begins.
Anyway, even though Paul Simon went on to some more, let’s say, interesting works in his later career (still waiting for his big rock comeback album), he did some pop classics with Art Garfunkel, also known as the luckiest man in the music business. I mean, the man not only didn’t write any of S&G’s songs, he didn’t even play the guitar in the band!
I heard this song again while listening the WCJM Free Internet Radio show, “The All-American Show”. I realized how great this tune really is. And, especially because we’re on the brink of the most important presidential election in many years, this song is all the more important to play now. “America” takes us on a journey of a couple going on a cross-country trip to “find” the real America. I think the man realizes that everyone is out on their own trips, finding America…even on the bleak New Jersey Turnpike.
I think this video stands as one of my favorites now because it just works so well with one person and a guitar. The tune is great. The guitar part is cool (I love that walking down C chord), too. I hope you’ll enjoy it and come back for more. I’ll be back on Thumpin’ Thursday (didn’t Jeff say something about using special characters?) and I hope you’ll be back tomorrow and Wednesday for great cover songs and original music from Chris and Jeff!
The 2010-2011 season of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco has now begun! Back here again after taking the summer off and that’s the way it looks like the schedule will go: September to June. That way, I can take time off while my wife is off from work. I’m excited to bring you a whole new crop of Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music videos- once every two weeks! In between, I’ll be posting articles, reviews, and more. There’s a lot going on in this noggin’ of mine, so let me update you on a couple of things I’m up to:
I had a nice summer, taking a cruise to Bermuda and doing many activities (mostly that my wife wanted to accomplish during her time off)
BIG changes are coming to my suite of websites, including the simplification of everything. This starts with the removal of fusco-moore.com and the FMP Music Store. They’re just not necessary anymore. I’ll keep the MoU site online just for old time’s sake (and, it looks cool), but everything else will be taken down (except for WCJM, of course). I’m conceptualizing a new JimFusco.com and we’ve been doing some photo shoots to give me some new content.
I also have a new Twitter account for my music: jimfuscomusic. Easy enough, huh? Please follow me so you can get up to the minute updates on all of my musical ventures!
I’m working on a new vocals-only project, but this is more for my own usage. I always put so much work into my vocals that I wanted to showcase them on a special collector’s album. More to follow.
Finally, and most importantly, I’m working on new songs! I have nine so far and will probably go to 15 so I can, for the first time, record everything and pick out only the best. I think this will be important to make the best album I can. But, I’m not giving up on “Halfway There” just yet, so I’ll be promoting that in the meantime. We’re still probably a year out before I release anything new.
So, that’s what’s happening. Now, onto tonight’s video!
I’m back with “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” by Electric Light Orchestra. This is a great classic rock tune that I’ve known for as long as I can remember. The song, written and sung by Jeff Lynne, is one of my favorite ELO (or E.L.O., whichever the search engines prefer) songs.
I knew the song started on the “C” chord- you can just hear it in the original recording. What I didn’t know, however, was that this song is really easy to play. I mean, when you hear an Electric Light Orchestra song, there’s so much going on that the songs sound like they’re really complicated. But, even after taking three months off, this still only took me one take to get right! No, I’m not perfect- I did practice quite a bit off-camera.
I think I got the song down really well and made it my own. Again, this is definitely a pared-down version from the original, stripping-away the multiple instruments and backing vocals. The backing vocals presented a bit of a challenge, so I had to pick what I believed to be the “lead” backing vocal note and sing that where necessary.
I hope you don’t notice that I’m getting over a cold. I’ve been practicing guitar like mad lately, but I’ve been giving my voice a rest after a really bad cold. You know how the cough lingers with you for weeks afterward? Well, it’s only been a few days and I’m really holding back in the video. I can’t even laugh without going into a coughing fit!
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video and that you’ll follow me on Twitter (@jimfuscomusic) so you’ll be the first to know when all my new acoustic cover song music videos and blog posts come out. So, until next time, here’s “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”!