Good afternoon to you! Thank you for checking out today’s Laptop Session. I really am looking forward to your watching this session, as it is my third Eagles acoustic cover video. Today I bring you the awesome ballad “I Can’t Tell You Why” from their album “The Long Run”.
This song is among the few that are sung by bassist Timothy Schmit. His voice is very sweet and appropriate for this song. I feel I did a great job emulating his singing style, and I hope you agree. The guitar part I play is an adaptation of the synthesizer that is constant in the song.
Also, if you are wondering why i’m dressed up, it is because I went to a wedding today (and am going to a reception in a little while). I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Lisa & Tom Kapitan on their wedding today.
Thank you again for checking out today’s session. Your weekend has just started, and I know you will come back tomorrow to see what Jim has in store for us all. Until then…
Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up. We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session. We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future. But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!
Good evening, one and all. This is my first solo Christmas song of the season, and I’m happy to contribute to the holiday spirit we’ve been building not only at the Laptop Sessions but also at the Fusco-Moore Experience.
(For those unaquainted with it, the “Experience” is what the condo has been dubbed. Why it has, I’m not exactly sure, but if you’d like to find out then give us a call…)
Seriously, this song is a classic number originally performed by the one and only Burl Ives. I still picture him as a talking snowman/host of children’s Christmas specials. But, alas, I didn’t have my snowman costume with me tonight, so I just wore my festive green shirt. I think it sufficed for the video.
The song itself has undergone the Chris Moore treatment, a combination of steady strumming and lower vocals. The harmonica solo is just about as “me” as they get. And this was actually a two-take song for me — a truly rare and pleasant surprise for me! I actually recorded a second song tonight; it’s not a Christmas tune, so I may record a different one if I get a chance, but it’s always good to have at least one music video in reserve. I wish I had recorded a surplus a year ago when I got sick mid-winter. Being our first-ever (and ONLY, I’m sure!) “Session-a-Day” project, I hadn’t anticipated having to record songs with no voice.
As you may recall, I turned to Bob Dylan’s recent catalog for those times that my voice was gruff or worse…
I don’t think you can underestimate how much music plays a part in our lives here at the Laptop Sessions. Take me, for example. Just this morning, I kept hitting the snooze on my iPhone alarm just in time to hear only part of the chorus to Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.” Being cut off where it was each time, it sounded like, “I was gambling in a van” (instead of “Havana”). I don’t know why that struck me as being so funny — it’s a lot less funny now that I’m fully awake and thinking about it — but I ended up staying in bed longer than initially planned just so I could keep trying to hit the snooze at the right time.
I don’t know what that says about me. Probably just that I didn’t want to get out of bed and would do anything to justify staying in it!
I hope you enjoy my rendition of this Christmas classic and take it for what it is — my sincere wish that you all have a “holly jolly Christmas.” It’s just over a week around the corner; can you believe it? I know I can’t. For once, I’m actually ahead on shopping!
Now, if I could only be ahead on wrapping…
This is why I would be a terrible Santa. I would be trying to wrap the presents in the sleigh, between houses. The wind would be kicking up and blowing the paper around, blowing presents out of the vehicle. It would be bad.
Okay, that’s it for me tonight. Don’t miss another great Jeff Copperthite session tomorrow — it’s gonna be “so amazing that you wouldn’t even mind if he changes the name of the day from ‘tremendous Tuesday’ to ‘tubular Tuesday'” good!!
And welcome one, welcome all to my Laptop Session for this very special Original Wednesday here at your source for the best acoustic cover and original song music videos available on the internet today! (That’s a mouthful…)
You may be wondering, why is this day so special?
Well, for one, this is the birthday of Laptop Sessions series creator Jim Fusco. On behalf of the other contributors and the loyal viewers of this blog, I’d like to wish him a very happy 25th birthday! Only a quarter century in, and he’s accumulated quite a back catalog of music, writing, and side projects. If you haven’t already, you should head on over to jimfusco.com.
Take it from me: the best gift you can get Jim this year is to spend a measely $10 on his brand new album Halfway There. Go ahead, check out the album in streaming audio at his official website, or use the search function at the top of this page to listen to Laptop Sessions of many of the Halfway There tracks, read a full review (another one from Jeff coming soon…), and see the beautiful, custom artwork he used for the cover.
Okay, that’s enough plugging for one post.
Tonight’s session is based on a song that I never recorded for an album. “Keep On Going” is an early track, as you will most likely be able to tell! Although the words are straightforward and the chord progression is simple, I’ve always liked this little tune. I originally wrote this song as a direct statement to my best friend (Jim, if you haven’t made the connection yet), assuring him after a rough week that things really will turn out all right, even though people — particularly high school aged people — can be cruel. I hope he’s seen that to be true, as he’s moved on to college, made many lifelong friends, and become engaged to Becky Daly. For all you former Pine Loft faithfuls: yes, this is indeed the same Becky Daly of Chris, Jim, and Becky fame!
I still sing “Keep On Going” when I feel stressed out or begin to think something — a relationship, a professional endeavor, etc. — won’t work out. I hope you like it.
As a final note, stepping back into the present, I just started listening to the new Bob Dylan album, Together Through Life. In case you’re questioning my devotion, there’s only one reason why I didn’t start listening yesterday: I pre-ordered the album on Amazon.com and didn’t spring for any more than Free Super Saver Shipping. So, I’m cheap. What do you want???
Did I mention I’m loving the album? As I type, it’s blaring through my room and probably throughout the condo complex. I may even get a letter in the mail from the condo association condemning me for noise pollution or disturbing the peace or some other such nonsense, but it will be worth it! I spent the day at school today wearing the Best Buy exclusive Together Through Life t-shirt that Mike so graciously passed along to me from his purchase of the album (thanks again, Fusc!!). I made certain to wear a white button down shirt today and a narrow tie, so as to have the Dylan t-shirt show through. Thanks to at least one inquisitive student in each class I taught, I got to talk about the new album at least once every 82 minutes today!
I’ll save my commentary on Together Through Life for the review that will most certainly come, but allow me to share a couple comments. First, this is not what I was expecting after Love & Theft and Modern Times. Then again, that’s pretty much what Dylan himself suggested, so I’m not really surprised. My favorite line thus far is the chorus to track three: “Hell is my wife’s home town.” As if there’s any question as to whether Dylan’s dry sense of humor is still intact, just listen for his chuckling — yes, his chuckling — in the outro of that song. Finally, although it’s a slow album to start, just wait for “Jolene” and “Shake Shake Mama” to really get your foot tapping.
And, with that taste of this new Dylan album, I’ll emphatically suggest you need to buy both Halfway There and Together Through Life and be on my merry way.
Never in my life have I felt that this song was more relevant than it is tonight and–especially–tomorrow. This is Bob Dylan’s classic protest song, “The Times They Are A-Changin.'” I’ve always appreciated the song, but I don’t think I’ve ever related to it as much as I did tonight as I was recording this music video. Personally, I have always been more interested in the other songs on Dylan’s album of the same name, such as “Only a Pawn in Their Game” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.” Yet, on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, I could think of no song more fitting to record than this one.
And, God save me, I will be recording “With God On Their Side” for my Thursday video if McCain wins! (Just search the lyrics to this song if you’ve missed the reference…).
I’ve tended to stay away from Dylan’s protest songs. I have a great deal of respect for them, but as Dylan himself, I hate to see him labeled simply as “the voice of a generation.” I am most interested in his more recent material — for instance, I’m still blown away by the new Bootleg Series release.
But tonight is a special occasion. As I began practicing this song, I found that (although I haven’t heard or played this song for months and months) all the words came to me easily. Line after line, verse after verse, this song rings so exceptionally true to me. It doesn’t take a literary critic to connect lines like the following ones to contemporary society:
“Admit that the water around you has grown…”
“Don’t speak too soon, for the wheel’s still in spin…”
“Come senators, congressmen; please heed the call…”
“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand; your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly aging…”
“Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand!”
There is indeed a reason why Dylan’s lyrics have been lauded for decades, and this song is one of the many that have stood the test of time. I hope that you’ll listen to the words and consider their meaning, and then think about “the state of this great nation of ours” (to quote the great Ben Folds) — it’s interesting and not so much of a coincidence that Obama’s campaign calls not only for change, but for “Change we can believe in.” I haven’t been this hopeful for real change for a good long time!
In fact, I was just flipping through a book I bought before the 2004 elections, as I decided who to vote for. I did a lot of research, reading that book and deciding between Bush and Kerry. Looking back, I can’t believe I even hesitated on that particular choice.
This year, I saved the ten bucks I would have spent on a new campaign book, as I didn’t need to do any further research beyond the Presidential debates and subsequent news reports and fact checks, not to mention the SNL skits.
Well, I’m just rambling now, as I’m tired and currently in bed, listening to acoustic Dylan and dreaming of… well, dreaming! Sleep is good. Change is also good. As my super-cool sister reminded me today, how could Obama not win with a catch-phrase like “BA-ROCK the vote!”
Okay; that’s it for me for a few days, but please hurry back to read Jeff’s election night blog post and Jim’s post-election Original Wednesday (I’m anxious to see what appropriate song he’ll choose). Then, I’ll be back on Thursday.