“The Times They Are A-Changin’” (Bob Dylan Acoustic Folk Cover)

Originally posted 2008-11-03 11:42:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

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.

See you next session!

 

“Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” (Jim Croce Cover)

Originally posted 2008-10-19 22:19:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to your Sunday, Sunday, Sunday installment of the best acoustic cover song blog on the web today!  After a couple of nineties covers, I’ve decided to go back a bit further… to 1973 with Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”  This is a song that I remember hearing for the first time when my father bought an audio tape (that’s a hint at how long ago it was…) and played it for me, along with “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” explaining that he always liked the story in the songs.  I instantly agreed, thinking that the way Croce described Leroy Brown and his lifestyle was really funny and catchy.

I just learned that Jim Croce’s life was sad, though, as he died the same year that this song (considered his biggest single) was released.  I found it really interesting to learn, according to Wikipedia, that he was the third singer/songwriter to score a posthumous #1 single (for “Time in a Bottle”), after Otis Redding and Janis Joplin.  What is even more sad, I think, is that he died in a plane crash.  I’ve got to be honest here — I don’t consider myself a superstitious person, but if I ever get a record contract and any degree of fame, I’m not setting foot on an airplane…

One of the best parts of doing so many Laptop Sessions this year is that I’ve had a chance to learn so much about great singer/songwriters and to remember so many great songs like this one.  Now, you may wonder how I learned this song if I haven’t heard it in so long.  Well, one of the best parts about having over 11,000 tracks available at my fingertips on my iPod is that I have access to a lot of songs that I have forgotten over the years.  In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to set my iPod to shuffle and just wait to see what great music will come up.  Unfortunately, there are just as many if not more not-so-great tracks that come up in search of the great ones…

But, as they say, it’s the journey and not the destination, right?

If you didn’t already, you should read Jim’s post from yesterday.  He pretty much summed up our day that led to an as-usual great performance by Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, aka the band America.  Not only was the show great, but they are really nice guys.  After the show, they signed autographs and shook hands with the fans.  I got the chance to tell Dewey that, when teaching the Transcendentalism unit in my English class (Emerson and Thoreau, “Nature” and “Walden,” etc…), I used the Here & Now track “Walk in the Woods.”  He seemed interested, as Gerry smiled and said that he’d been thinking about playing that song in concert so they could do the whistling part!  We all laughed, and for a brief moment, it felt like Jim and I had broken the usually solid barrier between fan and artist.  Cool moment.

I have looked forward to their shows ever since the first time Jim took me to go see them several years ago, and I’ve regretted missing any opportunity to see them.  He had initially gotten into the band because of such songs as “Sister Golden Hair.”  As with many bands he’s gotten into, I felt like I was missing out on something and had no choice — I had to get into them too!  My only past experience with them had been their hit single “A Horse With No Name” that I first heard as a kid (where else?) on a seventies tape that my father had.

And so this session comes full circle!  I present to you an acoustic cover of a song my dad played for me as a kid, and not 24 hours after going to a concert by a band that I first heard in my father’s music collection.  I’ll see you again on Wednesday for one of my own songs, track two from my soon-to-be-recorded new album.

See you next session!

“Words” (Acoustic Original Song by Songwriter Chris Moore)

Originally posted 2008-06-18 23:19:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Welcome to my all-new edition of Original Wednesday here at the Laptop Sessions. This week, I have chosen “Words,” a song I’ve recorded twice over the years — once for my album Looking For You (I recorded the title track for my last Original Wednesday video blog) and again on the Chris, Jim, & Becky debut album Live in the Studio. After recording a new cover song music video every three days, it’s always a lot of fun to turn to my own catalog of songs and revisit songs I haven’t played in years or ones I play all the time on my own. That’s the concept behind the Original Wednesday tradition — allow the members of Fusco-Moore Productions to showcase our pride and joy, our own music.

“Words” inspired the early sketches for a script and some unscripted scenes filmed while Jim and I were on vacation in Massachusetts. The basic premise of the movie was two characters on a journey who disagree on the essential question, what is a more important/effective form of communication — music and sound or words and written forms? For those who know me, it won’t come as a surprise that my character (the Eli mentioned in this song) believes in the power of words to express that which we as humans are simply unable to communicate to each other. Jim’s character (named Brian, if my memory serves me well…) believed less in the ability of mere words to convey the complex emotions we have. Nothing ever or probably ever will come of it, but it was great fun to revisit the song and the concepts.

I’ve written very little about Eli as a character — really only these lyrics — but I’ve always liked him. I hope you do too! As a songwriter, I always wished I could have written more into the song or additional songs, but I think this says enough on its own.

Well, I hope you enjoy this one. If it doesn’t whet your appetite, then don’t forget to rush back tomorrow for Jeff’s all-new Laptop Session as session-a-day rolls on for all 366 days of the year 2008…

See you next session!

 



“Tonight I’ll Be Stayin’ Here With You” (Bob Dylan Covers – Triple Threat Tuesday!!)

Originally posted 2008-06-24 16:44:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to not only another Laptop Session music video, but also a special treat from the three songwriters who bring you an acoustic cover a day EVERY day in 2008…

This is a little something we like to call Triple Threat Tuesday. What this means is today you will receive not one, not two, not four, but THREE video blog entries. Each video will be a cover version of Bob Dylan’s 1969 song “Tonight I’ll Be Stayin’ Here With You.” It’s such a great track that we couldn’t agree on just one person to record an acoustic cover of it… so all three of us will take a stab at it! This song originally appeared on the first fully country-rock Dylan album, appropriately titled Nashville Skyline. This album is filled with very simple, upbeat, and brief (under 3 minutes each) songs, not to mention they’re all sung in his “Lay, Lady, Lay” voice and Johnny Cash himself makes a special guest appearance on the opening track. I’ve heard better duets, but there are few things better than hearing two giants like Cash and Dylan harmonize (however loosely) on such a great song as “Girl from the North Country.” Dylan actually originally released that song on his 1962 acoustic album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

Personally, my favorite version of this song is Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue version, recorded in 1975 and released in the Bootleg series. He changes the words around and, although they’re a bit more blunt than the original, I love them and think they work well for this acoustic cover rendition. But that’s the beauty of cover songs — they give songwriters like us endless opportunities to perfect our own skills and to end some of our own style to the track. For instance, I can bet that Jim’s version will be faithful to the original, as he loves that album. He could have bet money that I would go for the obscure live lyrics, since I love Bob Dylan and have probably heard more live versions of this song than the average person should.

As Jim explained yesterday, I must follow up — it’s great to be back online. This music blog has been a lot of work for us and I can’t imagine losing the session – a – day promise this far into the game! We’re building more and more each day, and now that I’m on summer break from teaching, I’ll be able to devote all my attention toward my creative pursuits.

See you next session!


Jeff’s version is no longer on YouTube, but here’s…

Jim’s version: Recorded the night of, using my new video filters and amazing USB microphone- just listen to the audio quality of this acoustic cover song!