“Long Black Veil” (The Band / Johnny Cash Cover)

Originally posted 2008-06-12 23:00:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Welcome to another video blog in the Laptop Sessions music video series! Today, I bring you a cover song that was written in the 1950s and was covered on two separate occasions by two of my favorite artists — Johnny Cash and the Band. Cash recorded it most famously on his Folsom Prison concert and the Band included it on their 1968 album Music from Big Pink. Both are great albums, and this is a fun song. I hope you like it…

See you next session!



“Glide” (Stone Temple Pilots Cover)

Originally posted 2008-11-22 23:22:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Yes!  It’s me again two nights in a row!  I have the privilege of bringing you another previously covered band (yeah I know, it seems like it’s new to cover a band we’ve already covered, but hey).  And not only that, another cover of a song you may not have heard before (just like yesterday).  I hope you enjoyed “Mourning Train”, because it’s just another impressive hit that I am happy to bring to you.

Well today here’s another song I have always liked from another favorite band Stone Temple Pilots.  Despite their rocky past and continually shaky future, they remain a favorite band of mine.  I enjoy their catalog from the beginning to end.  However, their later material has always shone much more to me.  This is because they geared more towards a “bluesy” and guitar-driven sound, rather than the reliance on power chords of the typical 90’s alternative bands.  This made them stand out much more to me.

Tonight’s song is “Glide” from their album “No. 4”. Glide is a very unique song in that the chords are all based on the same root for all the verses.  Despite the countless inversions and add 9s in the guitar part.  Like a song I have covered earlier in the year (“Spies” by Coldplay), it’s a unique guitar part but I am happy I pulled it off (mostly) on video.

I really tried my best to relax and belt this song out.  Combine the guitar part commentary mentioned above with a huge jump in notes and the use of falsetto, and you see I picked a doozy to cover.  I decided to be a bit more forgiving of myself in the mistake department, so you may spot a couple of misfingerings here and there.  To me it does not detract from the flow or the overall feel of the song in any way.

I recorded this song in the same session as the previous cover, and I had also attempted to record another song for a future session, but after this song I was just plum out of energy.  That’s ok – you’ll still see that cover on Tuesday!

Be sure to come back for our regularly scheduled Jim Fusco acoustic cover, and then Chris Moore will make your Monday a bit less manic.  For me, i’m just gonna “glide” on upstairs to beat my wife in a game of Gin Rummy!

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!

CD Review: Bruce Springsteen’s “Devils and Dust”

Originally posted 2008-06-26 13:34:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

RATING:  2 / 5 stars

By Chris Moore:

I had read many reviews of this album long before I ever listened to it, and they were all good. They weren’t simply good reviews. Rather, Rolling Stone among others made this out to be the most incredible Springsteen album in years, if ever. Thus, my expectations were high when I bought Devils and Dust late one night and eagerly cranked it up for my half hour drive home.

The first track—the title track—is a nice start to a dark album, but I found myself disappointed quickly. Perhaps it was because I expected more upbeat songs, a la The Rising. Or perhaps it was because I was driving home with the windows open, cool breeze in my face, and I was having trouble hearing what Springsteen was singing. Whatever the reason, I quickly became disappointed with the release and told my friends why I thought it was overrated.

While I have not decided to declare this a veritable masterpiece that I initially overlooked, I must admit that my opinion of the album has softened with time. What helped to change my mind was viewing the DVD side of this DualDisc release. While the stripped-down nature of the studio recordings initially turned me off—and I usually have nothing against bare bones recordings—his live, solo acoustic performances allowed me to hear the songs for themselves, independent of my initial expectations. Springsteen appeared Dylan-esque, complete with acoustic guitar and harmonica rack. I loved “Devils and Dust” all the more here for its directness, for its simplicity. Suddenly, it was as though he was singing an old folk song—a well-written, dark yet catchy number. “Long Time Comin’” stood out to me again, having been one of my favorite album tracks.

There was something in Springsteen’s commentary in between songs that captured my interest and sparked my respect for the man. He seemed to be legitimately interested in writing minimalist songs as personal narratives both autobiographical and fictional. “Reno” is the perfect example of this captivating and revolting blend between the real and the conjured, the noble and the pitiful that he is able to weave together so well. In the best songs on this album, Springsteen exposes a subtle poetic sensibility that lends credibility and interest to his work. In subsequent listenings, I have found myself most taken in by these occasionally vivid and descriptive turns of phrase.

Still, I don’t quite understand some of the choices he made for the songs on this album. For instance, why did he sing the penultimate track, “All I’m Thinkin’ About,” in the odd, cracked voice manner that he did? Furthermore, why did he choose some of the subject matter that he did? What are the Matamoros Banks and would it make a difference if we knew? After all, I wonder why he would sing such a pretty song about a place that I have difficulty relating to, even after he has described it through his song. These are the moments — hearing him sing in unusual manners for no apparent reason and memorializing specific places that I have difficulty understanding the importance of — that I wonder what is so masterful about this album. It is a decent album, to be sure, and contains some good songs, but it is more of a return to roots than a step forward.

For all that I am impressed with the earthiness of the songs, the fervent attention to immortalizing the devils and the dust, I am still most in awe of a song like “Jesus Was An Only Son.” For its interesting depiction of an oft-discussed historical figure/son of God/son of man, for its flowing tune, and for its haunting organ riffing in the background, I wonder what the album would have been like if as much attention had been paid to the other tracks.

While its slow, gritty ballads pay homage to its namesake, I can’t help but note that if the album had been comprised of “Devils and Dust”’s and “Jesus Was An Only Son”’s, I may have called it masterful.

2005

“All Along the Watchtower” (A Bob Dylan Cover)

Originally posted 2008-07-12 11:54:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Now, this is truly a day of firsts for me. Three firsts, if I count them accurately. In order of occurrence: (1) I woke up on my own, on a Saturday, at a decent hour, and got right out of bed. Anyone who knows me on any personal level to any degree knows how amazing that truly is. (2) Then, I recorded my Saturday cover video in one take, including rehearsals. When it comes to these cover song sessions, I am probably more of a perfectionist than I should be. Thus, I repeatedly practice and record the music videos until I’m satisfied I could not do any better. Suffice it to say that usually takes anywhere between five and twenty-five takes. Today, one!! And, finally (3) I came upstairs from FMP Studios to find Jim, having just woken up, in an excellent mood. This is nothing against Jim — and I’m admittedly a bear (not one of those friendly, cuddly ones you might see at a show with a trainer, but one of those angry, blood thirsty ones that attack campers and hikers without provocation ala the John Candy movie The Great Outdoors) if you try to wake me from nodding off during a movie, etc. — but Jim’s just not a morning person. We sat and talked about the music blog, brainstormed some new ways to improve our views and content, and then laughed quite heartily about bathroom humor, the details of which I’ll spare you.

All told, really not a bad way to start a beautiful, sunny summer day!

But let’s get down to business. My acoustic cover song for today is Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” Ironically, you are probably more familiar with the Jimi Henrix’s cover version than you are of Dylan’s original music. And, even as a HUGE Dylan fan, I have to admit that Hendrix’s cover song is the definitive version. Even Dylan admitted as much — his live performances of the song still reflect Hendrix’s arrangement. That being said, Dylan’s original is heavily acoustic, so I felt that would be a better version for this acoustic guitar music video. So, I grabbed my acoustic guitar, dusted off my harmonica rack, and gave it my all. One take. Could it have been better, more polished? Yes, I suppose. But this is what the Laptop Sessions are all about — this is a snapshot in time, as though you sat down with me in my living room and I just played it for you, on a whim. I hope you enjoy it!

And, of course, don’t miss the unveiling of an all-new acoustic cover song from Jeff Copperthite — his next quality cover video will be posted here tomorrow…

See you next session!

**EDITOR’S NOTE: This video is no longer on YouTube, but please check out our other Bob Dylan cover songs here on the music video blog!