Hello and welcome to not only a brand-new Laptop Session, but the introduction of a new artist to our list of covers! Today, I’m playing “Waltz #2 (XO)” from Elliott Smith’s XO album. I actually just realized a couple weeks ago that he did indeed have an album between my two favorites from him — Either/Or and Figure 8 — and I had to get it. I’ve been listening to it ever since, and it feels kind of like a new album to me, considering that I thought I had heard all of his studio material.
Like I said, I’ve been listening to the album for over a week, and even though I still have several Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash “Laptop Sessions” videos, I just had to sit down and record this one (thus, the late-night, down-to-the-wire posting).
I hope you enjoy it; I certainly enjoyed learning it and playing it! Don’t forget to check out an all-new session from Jeff tomorrow, right here at http://LaptopSessions.com !
I’m pretty excited today, as I give you a new band to the Laptop Sessions: America!
I got into this band because of today’s cover song, Sister Golden Hair. I used to hear it on the radio many times growing up and decided that it would be perfect for a cover song. I’ve now seen the band America in concert at least ten times, meeting them and getting their autographs on many occasions. They’re great guys and that only helped make them one of my favorite bands.
I love their album “Homecoming” and will be doing most of the songs off it in the future. But, for now, I give you the tune that started it all for me. Once I found out that this song was from the same guys that did “Horse With No Name”, I had to get the “Best Of” CD. After that, I scoured CT (this was before eBay was huge) for any America CDs I could find. I even bought some of the LPs. The band was surprised to see such a young guy asking to get those signed. My gravitation towards America was probably due to the fact that I could tell they were influenced by the Beach Boys- their harmonies and melodic songs drew me in. And, they put a classic rock spin on things- kind of like Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but even more mellow.
“Sister Golden Hair” is really one of my favorite songs. The chorus is so catchy, but Gerry Beckley (the singer and songwriter for this song) didn’t stop there- he began the song with a great acoustic guitar part and some really cool slide guitar. One of the reasons why the original recording of “Sister Golden Hair” sounds so good is because Beatles producer George Martin actually produced it! Yes, that’s right- he even produced a few other albums for America in the mid 70s. The first song he produced for them was the big hit “Tin Man”.
America had two #1 Billboard hits- “A Horse With No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair”. It’s a shame they didn’t have a third, because then each member would’ve had their shot at having a Number One Hit. “A Horse With No Name” was written by Dewey Bunnell, but original member Dan Peek (left in the late 70s, but is now deceased) never got a song up to Number One. He did have a popular song, though, in “Lonely People”, which is instantly recognizable. So, I guess all of the band members had their chances to shine.
Like many of my acoustic cover song videos, I’m using my nylon string guitar here. Sure, it doesn’t sound exactly like the original, but I thought it allowed me to sing over the guitar without shouting. On the verses, I found that I needed a softer sounding guitar because the tone is so “conversational” and not soaring above the music (like a Beach Boys song would be, for instance).
I hope you all enjoy this America acoustic cover song- truly one of my favorites. Stay tuned for more cover song music videos from the musicians here at the Laptop Sessions video blog!
Welcome once again to Thumpin’ Thursday. It’s Jeff today bringing you the next video in our ongoing series.
I’ve got a real cool tune coming your way today. It’s another new band here on laptopsessions.com, and the band is Coldplay. While Coldplay is among one of the more critiqued bands out there, it is hard to deny that they come out with great sounding songs. I’m always impressed by the guitar work on the two albums I own from them. The song I have chosen to play is “Spies” from their album Parachutes.
The song itself is not in standard tuning, and I at first tried to figure this song out. However I picked it up quickly once I learned the alternate tuning that is used in the song. It has a cool feel along with a unique sound.
As far as my performance, the bridge was the hardest part in this take, but despite mis-fingering two chords in the bridge, the rest of it is quite solid and brings out the spirit of the song.
It also translates well to acoustic, since the recorded version is also heavily based on acoustic.
Also, remember that I will be playing w/ Masters of the Universe this coming Wednesday @ the Southern CT University talent show. If you are in the area and want to hear a great free show and some great talent, please join us! More information can be found on http://www.jimfusco.com
Check back tomorrow for Jim’s latest video!
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!