Welcome to your Saturday edition of The Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!
Today, I join the Wallflowers group with Chris and Jeff (who’ve done quite a few already) and do one of my favorite tunes, “How Good It Can Get”.
This song has one of the best hooks I’ve ever heard, plus it was my “anthem” song during my trip to Italy last year. I remember one night, after an amazing Tuscan dinner, walking through the streets back to the hotel. I was singing this song at the top of my lungs. Clearly less-than-level-headed, I kept also yelling out that I was still on key!
Well, this was recorded long after that night and I was STILL on key! I hope you enjoy today’s Session and make sure to keep checking the blog at LaptopSessions.com for exclusive videos from our first ever LIVE concert tonight!
Thanks for stopping by for your Tuesday edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
Today, I bring you a song written by Neil Young, “Cowgirl in the Sand”. Not only is this song one of his most famous, but it’s also generally well-known among country-rock music fans.
The version I’m doing is derivative of the version the Byrds did on their reunion album from 1975. That album isn’t wonderful by any means, but Gene Clark’s contributions are, of course, superb. He sings a great lead on this song, too. Gene Clark just had a great timbre to his voice. He could sing rock’n’roll music and country/western music with the best of them. Of course, Gene Clark was a great songwriter, too, both with the Byrds and on his own solo recordings. While searching around here on the music blog, be sure to click on Gene Clark’s category to see the other cover songs I’ve done written by him. If you’re not a fan now (or haven’t heard of him), I guarantee his original songs will get your attention.
This is one song that I never planned on doing, but came into my head one night, so I just sat down and did it! I think some people were a bit surprised that I busted this one out at our first live show as a trio the other day. My favorite aspect of the Byrds’ version of “Cowgirl In The Sand” is the harmonies on the chorus. I really hope that we can get those harmonies right in future performances, as I think that’s the flare the Byrds added to make the version their own.
Considering how the Byrds first started, it’s a bit surprising that they gravitated over to country rock like they did. They were initially marketed as a folk group, electrifying Bob Dylan songs like “Chimes of Freedom” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”. But, the band members of the Byrds, especially Chris Hillman, started out loving folk music in a different way- the classic, down-home country style. Chris Hillman is actually an accomplished mandolin player, and there is no better country guitarist than Roger McGuinn. Basically, they just threw an electric bass in Hillman’s hands and a 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar in McGuinn’s hands, and they had a big hit band. In later albums, the band members of the Byrds would write original songs that had a country flare to them, including Chris Hillman’s “The Girl With No Name”, which I’ve also done a cover song music video of here on the music blog.
You may also notice the “incredible fluctuating hairdo” of myself- I recorded this song before getting a haircut, as you saw in the “Aware” cover video (of an original song) from last week.
I hope to do more Neil Young songs in the future and I hope this cover song video attracts some new viewers and music lovers to the Laptop Sessions live acoustic music video series!
There’s three ways out of every box:
Fall out the bottom, or you crawl out the top.
F# B F# B
There’s three ways out of every, every box.
B Bb B
But if you can’t find your way out,
Then you just burn it to the ground,
B Bbm – Abm B – Bbm – Abm F# B
Then you’ll disappear like smoke into the clouds.
There’s three ways off a merry-go-round:
You either jump, or you let it slow down.
There’s three ways off a merry-go, merry-go round.
But if you can’t put your foot down,
Then you just burn it to the ground.
Then you walk away real slow back into the crowd.
There’s always somebody there for a laugh.
Then you’re the only one that’s left.
B Bbm F#
Now that’s what you get left behind in the wreck.
There’s three ways off a burning bridge:
You pray for rain or you learn how to swim.
There’s three ways off of every burning bridge.
But if you can’t find strength and you quit,
Then you can just burn up and sink.
Then you’ll drift away real slow down into the ground.
** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **
Welcome to your Sunday edition of the Laptop Sessions!
Today, I bring you a tune that I covered on my album “That’s All Folks” called “Great Day” by Paul McCartney. It closes out his 1997 album “Flaming Pie”, one of my all-time favorites. That album, “That’s All Folks”, came about because I had purchased my first good acoustic guitar. That guitar meant everything to me- it sounded great, played great, and made me feel like a real musician. I didn’t even really know how to play too well when I bought it. So, I learned how to play a bunch of songs I was listening to at the time. That taught me more chords, which turned me into a better player. And, at the time, I was going through a HUGE Paul McCartney phase. They had just released “Wingspan” with all of Wings’ greatest hits. I know those songs probably grate on people after all this time, but they were all new to me- and I fell for it pretty hard. We were also listening, as a family, to Paul’s albums from the 90s quite a bit. The first real song I learned how to play (and played it for my parents) was, of all things, “Hope of Deliverance” by Paul McCartney off of the “Off the Ground” album from the early 90s. I guess you could say that Paul McCartney’s songs really taught me how to play. And when it comes to rock musicians, you can’t get a much better tutor than him.
This is the perfect acoustic song and gives quite a vocal workout, which you wouldn’t expect in such a simple song. I decided to do this acoustic cover song on my nylon-string classical acoustic guitar, as it gave me the opportunity to be more expressive in my performance. This song is very soulful, which you wouldn’t really expect from the lyrics. I kind of dumbed-down the guitar picking riff throughout because that’s not really my thing. I’m a strummer and a soloist, but can’t do the flat-picking thing too well. Paul McCartney, the phenom that he is, is proficient at almost anything, musically. The man is one of the best bass players of all time, he can play the drums, sing (obviously), write songs, and play any guitar part you throw in front of him. Oh, and he’s written some of the most famous rock songs of all time on the piano, as well. That’s a pretty impressive life, for sure!
I hope you all enjoy today’s Session, as I’ll be back on Wednesday with a “political” original song- don’t miss it!