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!
Well, tonight’s going to be a brief one, and I apologize. But I made up for it by calling in the big guns — aka one Jim Fusco for additional guitar stylings and harmony vocals — to make this video one my favorites that I’ve done. It’s certainly the best Christmas video that I’ve recorded. We had a lot of fun playing it, and I think that comes through on the recording.
I hope you enjoy it!
Oh, yeah, I should probably mention what song it is. This is “Green Christmas,” one of the holiday originals on the Barenaked Ladies’ Barenaked For the Holidays album. Second only to “Elf’s Lament” and maybe “Christmastime (Oh Yeah),” this is one of my favorite original tracks on the album. There’s just the right mix of humor and seriousness on this record, and I think this one leans more toward the serious side. I especially like the middle part — “Green, cause of everything I miss. All this missletoe, no kiss…”
Simply put, this was a lot of fun to record.
And it’s certainly not like we haven’t played it before. It’s been a while, but this song is officially part of our MoU Christmas Chord Book, Part II. That’s right, we needed multiple chord books to contain the number of songs we learned for our Christmas shows.
The reason this post is so brief is that I remembered and recorded my video much later than I would have liked, and then, Jim and I watched the SNL “Best of Christmas Past” DVD while wrapping our gifts for Christmas. It felt good to accomplish that while simultaneously watching some great skits — the Matt Foley “motivational speaker” Santa, Alec Baldwin’s “Shvety balls,” Eddie Murphy’s “Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood, and boy does the list go on… — and laughing (a lot!) together.
Yes, that’s right- a world premiere tonight here on the Laptop Sessions music video blog!
In just a couple short months (or maybe sooner- who knows), I’ll be releasing my first solo album in four years. I can’t believe it’s been that long. And, with the production value and songwriting skills, you’ll realize that I’ve grown in many ways over that time. I’ve seen a band come and (essentially) go in that time. I’ve produced and written songs for two albums while in that band. “Homestead’s Revenge” is truly a great album and I can only hope that “Halfway There” can top it.
I hope to create some sort of buzz for the new album. I spent so long making it and I’m so proud of it that I wanted to wait until the Laptop Sessions got popular to release it. Maybe now, my collegues here on the site will realize why I’ve been pushing them so hard to find better avenues for popularity here on the music video blog…
This song, “Halfway There”, is obviously the title track, but it doesn’t appear until track 10 on the 11 track album. It’s funny- my last album was 13 tracks and this new album is longer with two less songs! The songs on this album are well-thought-out and complete. The songs on this album take their time and don’t sound too rushed. The songs on this album are the songs I always knew I could make, but never really had the time or the resources to complete. You can see why I’m so proud of it!
Of course, this album has a theme. When you see the album cover, which is awesome, by the way, you’ll get more of the theme’s meaning. I’m having a great painter named Ben Quesnel paint the cover. In exchange, I’ll be making him a website for all of his artististic work. It’s a great trade-off and I know we’ll both be very happy in the end.
Tonight’s song really sums-up the whole concept of feeling “Halfway There”, hence it’s place towards the end of the album. I give examples of what I’m trying to say throughout the album and finally give it a nice summary towards the end.
The tune came to me while driving back home after our usual trip to my parents’ house on Thursday nights for TNA iMPACT! on Spike TV. I knew the title of the album long before I wrote this song. Thinking of the album and its title, I started to sing to myself in the car: “Halfway there…halfway there…halfway there…I’ll always be halfway there…” I proceeded to drive home much faster than usual and fleshed-out the song a bit more.
Actually, I made a YouTube video of how I developed this song- here it is below. Then, you can watch tonight’s Laptop Session Original Wednesday version and get a better feel for the finished product.
Of course, the REAL finished product has literally ten of my vocals on the chorus- it sounds so cool! Again, I finally have the techniques and everything down to make productions like this possible…and sound good, too! But, for now, I hope you’ll enjoy the first newly-released track off of my upcoming album, “Halfway There” on acoustic guitar for tonight’s Original Wednesday music video. I’ll be back for my next Jim Fusco Tuesday installment next week and I hope you will be, too!
Welcome to Day 10 of Jim Fusco’s 14 Days of Rock’n’Roll Christmas! I can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as I’ve officially finished the album. And only four days ahead of time! I had to re-record some parts and mix down the last couple of songs, but I’m finally done. Now, I can give my friends and family high quality versions on CD so they can import into their iTunes libraries.
Tonight’s song is another you probably haven’t heard of (don’t worry- this is the last one!), but it’s a really great song. It’s called “On Christmas Day” and is written by Brian Wilson. he recorded it and included it as a bonus track on his Christmas album from the mid-2000’s. I love the video of the band making this song- it’s so cool seeing it come together in the studio.
An interesting thing to me is that this song really was done back in the 70’s and was called “Bells of Paris”. Of course, the tune was slightly different, but it’s really the same song. I’d be interested to find out what came first- Brian’s Christmas lyrics or the ones about Paris. I know the Beach Boys had a failed Christmas album in the mid-70s and there’s actually a version called “Bells of Christmas” that replaces the lyrics with holiday-themed ones. But, the version Brian re-tooled that eventually became “On Christmas Day” is by far my favorite and that’s why I had to make my own version!
I hope you like the song as much as I do. Come back tomorrow (for a song you’ve heard of!) for Day 11 as we roll-on!