“Living the Blues” (A Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2007-11-03 12:11:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Well, I have finally posted one of my own! In the wake of Jim’s revival of lesser-known (and lesser-appreciated) tunes, I decided to try Bob Dylan’s early-70’s “Living the Blues.” It is certainly not the best (nor even among the best) of his catalog, but I’ve always loved it. And I hope you do too!

“(Just Like) Starting Over” (John Lennon Cover)

Originally posted 2008-05-03 16:56:48. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Today, “#1 Week” ends with a great tune from John Lennon’s last album, “Double Fantasy”. I was surprised that this song reached Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 instead of “Woman”, which made it to #2.

I’m typing this description while listening to these two fartheads talk. I’m talking about Chris and Jeff, who just bet me to type that, so there you go, guys.

Anyway, I really love this song, too, and it came out great on my nylon string guitar. I had to record this one on my digital camera, as my laptop has been making a lot of fan noise lately.  Also, we were preparing the basement studio to record “Jamnation 1”, so I couldn’t record my cover song music video where I usually do.  I must apologize for the background here- would’ve it have killed me to clean up the blanket on the bed?  But, I guess that’s part of what makes the Laptop Sessions fun for me.  I can set up a camera and play a reimagined acoustic version of a great song like “(Just Like) Starting Over” any time (and anywhere) I want!

You know, it’s funny that the John Lennon album I took “(Just Like) Starting Over” from is called “Double Fantasy”, because only half of the album is listenable.  The version I have on my iTunes is great- I weeded out all of the Yoko Ono songs (which are simply unlistenable) and I’m left with a great album by John Lennon.  He had taken a long hiatus from the music business to focus on his personal life and finally came back with some of his best-ever songs.  “Beautiful Boy” is one of the saddest songs ever, but it’s truly an amazing work of art.  It pains me to think of the music John Lennon would’ve made had he lived longer.  The style he had on “Double Fantasy” was perfect for the time- is has a bit of that late-70s sound to it, but it sounds updated and modern.  This album definitely wears better than many others from the same time period.  I know John Lennon would’ve kept the music that I love on the charts longer and it’s a shame he never got that chance.

I heard recently that John was having some trouble singing the original songs he wrote for Double Fantasy.  I guess, over the years, his voice started deteriorating.  So, he had to double-track every lead vocal part on “Double Fantasy”.  I really had no idea about this- his vocals seem pretty strong.  But, when you listen to the demos he was recording around this time (many of them are out there on boxed sets), you hear a much weaker voice than he had years earlier as a member of the Beatles.  But, John Lennon was a performer at heart and he knew how to make his songs sound the best they could.  So, he double-tracked everything and we got some great original songs out of it!

I will be doing more John Lennon songs from this album in the future, but I hope you’ve all enjoyed “#1 Week” here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!

Music Review: John Mayer’s New Live Album is Not So New, Not So Desirable

Originally posted 2008-07-04 23:25:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

This live album by Mayer is perhaps, in terms of new music, the biggest disappointment of the year for me.  Being a John Mayer fan from the beginning, I have never quite been able to understand the degree of praise he has received for going back to the blues roots.  Yes, he is an excellent guitarist, and I am happy that more people are giving him the respect he deserves.  But he was always an energetic, talented guitarist – recall “Neon” as merely one of many examples.  I was unimpressed with the John Mayer Trio – its minimalist setup and apparent reference to the great rock trios of the seventies (Jimi Hendrix Experience comes to mind) has always seemed out of place to me when considering the depth of Mayer’s vocals and instrumental components on his studio recordings.  Then, Continuum was released, and I was truly befuddled.  It wasn’t so much that I disliked this new album – though I did and do find it lackluster at most turns – but this new album garnered such an exaggeratedly positive response.  Based on Rolling Stone magazine’s review, one might expect that this was John Mayer’s most amazing album to date and perhaps one of the most significant albums of the year.

This brings us to current day, 2008, and the release of Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles.  As I entered my local music retail store, I headed for the CD section, knowing that the live album had just been released.  I had decided the night before, when I first learned of its release, that I would not purchase it.  I made this decision, knowing full well that, once I enjoy one or two albums from any given artist, I usually end up buying all their subsequent releases.  However, I thought to myself, what if they lose my interest entirely?  In the case of John Mayer, it wasn’t so much a branching out and changing of his style that concerned me – it was and is my perception that he has regressed as a songwriter.

When I saw the live album, I almost bought it.

The packaging itself is solid – a live concert in three sections: an acoustic solo set, a John Mayer Trio set, and a full band set.  The acoustic set alone intrigued me; “Stop This Train” is one of my few favorites from Continuum, “Daughters” would work perfectly in this type of arrangement, and Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” is one of my favorite songs.

So, I had picked it up, and looking it over, the desire to buy it was creeping in.  Then I read the second section – the Trio set.  Five of the eight songs in this portion were featured in the John Mayer Trio live album.  What could be so significantly different about these performances?  Of the final nine songs in the full band set, all but two were songs from Continuum.  The other two included “Why Georgia,” one of my favorite songs by Mayer, and a Ray Charles cover.  Why would I want to hear a live set of songs from an album that I was unimpressed with?

Saddened and, truthfully, disappointed, I placed the CD back on the rack.  I can’t say I will never listen to Where The Light Is, but I can say with certainty that I will not purchase it myself.  And that makes me very sad, as Mayer had quickly become one of my favorite new music artists on the scene a few years ago.  For perhaps the first time in my young, CD-collecting life, I have left an artist behind.  He may be off to new work with the blues community, but I’m off to listen to his lesser-appreciated work – the charming and spirited Inside Wants Out EP, the instant hit Room For Squares, and even the follow-up effort Heavier Things.  For me, those albums had it all – solid songwriting and great guitar work.

At most, I may return to Continuum and try to figure out what exactly it is that I have missed.

“Extra Pale” (Goo Goo Dolls Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-07 22:35:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

This is the second time thsi year that i’ve been unable to post because of health reasons.  Earlier in the year (near the start of this project) I had food poisoning that put me out of my scheduled day, and last week I felt a cold coming on.  I got around that by posting an instrumental (that a lot of people liked, which was good), but on Thursday, I could barely talk.  How I taught this past week is beyond me.  Even today my voice is not 100%.

But the posts must go on.  And therefore, i’m making up for lost time by posting 4/7 of the days of this week!

And yes, I used a fraction.

Today I’ve got an obscure album cut from The Goo Goo Dolls’ album “Dizzy Up The Girl”, which is called “Extra Pale”.  One thing i’ve always been amazed by is that every single this band has released has had their guitarist Johnny Rzeznik singing the song.  The people who do not own any GGD albums will think Johnny is lead singer/guitarist.  However, the bassist Robby also sings on many of the tracks and writes or co-writes as well.  This is one of those songs.  Robby’s songs are also shorter than most of the other songs.  This may be the shortest video i’ve ever done!

I tried my best to sing this song, but as you will hear my voice is not 100%.  I decided to throw in that caution in the beginning because I would worry people think I sound like that all the time!  It works for this song because it’s a naturally lower register.

Enjoy this tune, and thank you for coming out consistently to check out every video every day!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with another new band!

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!