“You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” (Beatles Cover)

Originally posted 2009-09-28 22:52:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Beatles chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to my first traditional “video and a post” Laptop Session in weeks!  For the past few posts, I’ve opted to write reviews, but now its back to Beatles cover songs for me!  This was actually a lot of fun, but I don’t get to write as directly and personally as I do in a post like this one.  Thus, I’m back with a guitar, recording my first cover song music video since “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Let’s just say it’s good to be “back”!

You’ve probably already noticed that the Laptop Sessions main page has suddenly been filled with “chords & lyrics” posts.  Let me start by explaining these four new additions to the blog.

First, the Beatles chords (for “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”) are obviously meant to accompany this post.  If you enjoy it, then by all means, jump in and start playing it yourself.  Actually, you might want to read the rest of my post before you break out your axe…

So, why the added chords and lyrics?

Well, I’ve been itching to record a cover version of a track from the new Pearl Jam album Backspacer ever since I started listening to it last Sunday.  Specifically, there are two largely acoustic tracks that are very easily translatable into acoustic music videos — namely, “Just Breathe” and “The End.”  The first single, “The Fixer,” is more of a full-band, harder rock affair, but its structure is fairly simple and it is truly a great deal of fun to sing.  I’m still deciding which song to record for my session (anyone care to hazard a guess before next week?).

Now, normally I would wait until next Monday to post the chords, but I’ve been learning/practicing all three and going out of my mind attempting to comprehend how anyone could post the chords and lyrics without having even the slightest idea as to what the correct words are.  This, in fact, is one of the most profoundly aggravating aspects of the decline of CD’s, at least in my mind — people who download digitally do not necessarily get a booklet, and even if they do, do not necessarily take the time to read the liner notes and lyrics.  Has music really become that abundant and easily accessible that we couldn’t care less what the singer is actually saying, or what the album as a whole is actually about?  This is the feeling I get when I surf the web for chords and lyrics.

This is also why I enjoy spending time in CD stores like Newbury Comics or — as I visited today — Exile on Main Street.  It’s a good feeling to see albums that you had forgotten about, never actually seen in person, or perhaps never even heard of before.  I left today with my hands covered in a thin layer of dust, having purchased an album that had collected a considerable amount of that aforementioned dust — the Charlie Sexton Sextet’s Under the Wishing Tree.  (Sexton played with Dylan for a few years, left the band a while back, and just recently rejoined — he was perhaps my favorite guitarist that I’ve seen in Dylan’s band, so I had to check it out.  More to come after I’ve listened more closely to the album…)

After all this posting, I suppose I should actually take a few moments to address the video you’re about to watch…

Following Jeff’s excellent rendition of “Yesterday” last Thumpin’ Thursday, I decided I couldn’t let the Beatles marathon slip away on my watch.  I had been planning to record a Pearl Jam song (as I mentioned earlier), so I opted instead to record a Beatles song that had been sung by Eddie Vedder in a cover version a few years back.  “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” is the third track from the Beatles’ excellent 1965 album Help! — Nicole’s favorite Beatles album.  Thankfully, I was able to borrow her copy of the 2009 remastered version of Help! and ensure that I was more than prepared to record this great song.

The video that follows is a perfect example of what seems like a short, simple song but is in actuality a little gem.  To me, this song exemplifies how the Beatles really aren’t overrated — even with a simple verse-verse-chorus-repeat-fade song, Lennon and McCartney had to throw in some interesting chords and variations.  It’s not simply G or C that you’re hearing — instead, my underworked and not-so-dexterous pinky finger was called into play to make the song sound entirely accurate.  Even as I type, my hand is still recovering from the workout!  Overall, I’m very pleased with how the recording came out, even if my lips ended up a bit dry and thus led to a few flubs during my “vocal flute” solo at the outro.  I hope you can forgive the slight inaccuracies and enjoy this great Lennon/McCartney classic!

Oh, as a quick “P.S.,” I should mention that my review of the 2009 remaster of Let It Be really will be coming eventually.  My internet was a bit screwy last week and I lost all my progress, so I put it aside temporarily.

It’s been a great Yom Kippur (see my Twitter posts above), and although it’s back to school for me tomorrow, I still have another surprise up my sleeve for later this week.  That is, if my internet connection can hold steady…

See you next session!

“Great Day” (Paul McCartney Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-16 16:08:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

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!


“My Brave Face” (Paul McCartney Cover)

Originally posted 2008-05-09 20:42:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Friday edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

Tonight, I bring you a cool tune from Paul McCartney, “My Brave Face”. I always knew of this song, hearing it on the radio and such, but for some reason, I fell in love with it a couple years ago. I guess I never really knew it was Paul.

It’s a TOUGH song to sing and I just can’t seem to shake this cold lately, but I prepped myself by eating and drinking a lot before I did the take. It always makes me feel better.

There’s also some really tough lines to sing, as they have this odd syncopation to them. The line, “Ever since you left I have been trying to compose a ‘baby will you please come home’ note meant for you”. Are you kidding me? It took a while to get that one down.

But, I really like the way the whole video came out and I think you’ll agree it’s one of my more passionate ones.

Enjoy tonight’s video and make sure to get yourself back to http://www.LaptopSessions.com tomorrow for another new video from the one and only Chris Moore!


Ringo Starr’s “Y Not” (2010) – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-01-17 22:46:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

RATING:  2.5 / 5 stars

Although Ringo’s past several albums have been billed as solo records, they have actually been songwriting and performance collaborations with a core of talented singer/songwriters better known as the Roundheads.  They have been musically and lyrically interesting and, at times, even ambitious.

Well, there is no question that Y Not is a true Ringo Starr solo release.

Whereas the collaborations on his past records could be traced through the liner notes and behind-the-scenes documentaries, it is clear that any collaborative efforts on this album are directed by Ringo himself.  Ownership is the key word for Y Not, as his fifteenth studio album finds him producing his own material for the first time in his considerably decorated career.

The result?  This is a fun record, one that Ringo and his assorted guests obviously enjoyed recording.  As the title implies, there is a generally carefree attitude ringing forth from these tracks, an attitude which Ringo has carefully cultivated over a lifetime’s worth of recording and performing.  As early as “Peace Dream,” his positive worldview is sung with as much emotion and sincerity as ever before, followed by the blunt honesty and autobiography of “The Other Side of Liverpool.”  The latter is different from many of his previously autobiographical tracks — think: “Liverpool 8” — in that it covers some darker realms of his past, but it does so with that same air of confidence and cool attitude that we have come to know and expect from the famous drummer for the Beatles.

Ringo Starr's "Y Not" (2010)

Ringo Starr's "Y Not" (2010)

There are many positive comments to be made about Y Not, to be certain, and yet the unfortunate flip side of the “ownership” coin is that this most recent Ringo release comes across as somewhat flat compared to his previous albums.  Anyone who has heard his recent work — Ringo Rama (2003), Choose Love (2005), even as far back as Time Takes Time (1992) — will note the diminished effect of this record.

Even from the outside looking in, Y Not is a black and white, one-fold booklet release with a minimum of effort put into design and packaging.  The advertisement label, never mind the album cover, looks like something I could have designed on Windows 98 and printed out on an inkjet printer manufactured a decade ago.  The advertisement sticker itself seems like an afterthought, placed on the bottom rear of the CD case.

But these are only superficial observations; obviously, an album should be judged first and foremost on the quality of the material contained on the CD or downloaded from Internet.

And this is where the true inconsistencies of the album begin.

There are some truly outstanding songs — the funky, uplifting “Time” and the aforementioned “Peace Dream” to name two.  Then there are some fun if mediocre tracks like the repetitive “Everyone Wins,” the somewhat phoned-in (pun intended) “Fill in the Blanks,” and the title track, which frankly borders on annoying, especially by the time the Indian-influenced middle section arrives. “Walk With You” narrowly avoids falling into this category by virtue of the fact that Ringo’s duet with Paul McCartney elevates it to “gem” status.  There is a reason why these two men were members of what was arguably the best rock band of all time.

Finally, there is a track which will make you shake your head, and not in a good way.  Consider the album closer “Who’s Your Daddy” which is every bit as embarrassing as it sounds.  This is essentially a Joss Stone song with Ringo Starr guest-dueting on the chorus, laying down the anchor phrase “Who’s your daddy?” amidst her lead vocal.

The review essentially boils down to this: Y Not is a disappointment if you’re looking for material to compete with the best material of his career, or even his recent career.  (If you think too long about the title, that’s an oddity and perhaps a disappointment in and of itself — IM shorthand?  Really?)

If you’re simply looking for some fun rock and roll to kick off your 2010 soundtrack, then give this one a try.  Even for all my criticism, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend an artist or band who can so consistently provide such fun, upbeat, positive rock music as Ringo always has and continues to produce.  And, really, between the excellent and embarrassing songs, there are some wonderful tracks like the oh-so-obviously Richard Marx co-written song “Mystery of the Night” and the one Roundhead throw-back “Can’t Do It Wrong,” both of which are more than up to snuff, earning a place alongside some of Ringo’s best album tracks.

The final verdict is that I’m sad to see the Roundheads disband, but I’m happy to have Ringo carry on and take more personal responsibility for his music than ever before.

And yes, embarrassing as it may be, I’ll be singing along with Ringo on “Who’s Your Daddy” just about every time…