“Sister Golden Hair” (America Cover)

Originally posted 2008-02-15 23:16:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

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.

Jim and Chris with the band America.

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!


“Worlds Apart” (Original Wednesday Song by Co-Songwriter Jim Fusco)

Originally posted 2008-06-11 21:12:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to Original Wednesday here at the Laptop Sessions! It only comes but once every three weeks for me, so you know I’m going to make it a good one.

Tonight, I bring you an original song I wrote with the help of my fellow MoU (at http://jimfusco.com/albums.html ) bandmates for our latest album, “Homestead’s Revenge”. The album is GREAT, and you can listen to the whole thing for free on our website.

This song is track two off the album and follows a very interesting pattern. You might notice that the verse never comes back after the first round. It just has the chorus and middle instrumental parts play again and again. You almost don’t even notice it only has that one full verse until you stop and think about it.

I recorded this video last night. That is, I recorded this video BEFORE I made my huge discoveries pertaining to my original and cover songs videos.

First, I found a great program called iGlasses that allows me to manually control the iSight camera in my Macbook. It’s about time- I can’t stand when the camera just decides, “You know what, why don’t I just make it a lot darker for no reason?” Now, I’ll be able to control the exposure and brightness (plus white balance and color controls) BEFORE I record the video. This will save me time and, as we video professionals know, will make the end-result a lot nicer looking. It’s much more difficult to fix something in post-production than it is to do it right the first time around.

Second, I finally got my ZOOM H2 to record at the same time my iSight camera does!! You see, iMovie HD doesn’t give you the option to record using a different audio source. It just says “Record with iSight”.

Well, I went out to the main Apple preferences, switched the input in there, and presto- crystal clear sound without that incessantly loud fan noise that comes from the laptop.

But again, this was all learned AFTER I recorded the videos you’ll see from me for about the next month. BUT, at least we know great looking AND sounding video for me is on the horizon.

And the best part? I don’t have to do any extra work! :-)

Thanks for watching and keep spreading the word about our great acoustic cover songs and original music!

 



“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!



“Shadows Of Your Dreams” (New Music – Indie Music Songwriter Jeff Copperthite!)

Originally posted 2008-02-20 18:35:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

I have looked forward to this edition of Original Wednesday for quite some time. I get to world premiere a song from my upcoming album Greenlight.

The song is the first track, and it is called “Shadows Of Your Dreams”. The song is interesting to play on the acoustic guitar because in the recording I do not have a track for acoustic guitar. Therefore, you are watching me play this song for the first time on acoustic since I wrote the song almost a year ago.

I am really looking forward to Sunday! I hope you are planning on purchasing this album in the near future. It essentially is my first solo effort, and I am proud of the end product of nearly a half a year of work.

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!