“This Wheel’s on Fire” (Bob Dylan/Byrds Cover)

Originally posted 2008-10-07 11:28:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

I’ve been so excited recently to see what new bands Jim is going to introduce to the blog — I mean, you really have no idea from one day to the next which band he’ll tap in to.  At this point, he’s done so many different bands that it would actually be just as much a surprise to see him break out a classic standby, such as the Beach Boys.  And, to prove how excited I am about these new bands…

…I’m going to contribute a Bob Dylan song!

Big surprise, I realize.  (For those of you who don’t watch regularly, I’m a big Dylan fan and have recorded more Dylan covers than any other band!)  But I have my reasons, I promise.  First and foremost, today is the official release date of The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Rare and Unreleased: 1989-2006.  I’ve only had time to listen to the first two thirds of the first disc, but already I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve been concentrating so much on the new Ben Folds album, Way to Normal, that I was loath to take it out of my CD player.  But I’ve already fallen in love with Dylan’s work, even after hearing the first four tracks.  The version of “Mississippi,” one of my favorite songs of all time, is entirely different.  Then, the version of “Most of the Time” sounds less like the 1989 track I know and love and more like a track out of 1963; it’s entirely different, and yet in typical Dylan fashion, it’s entirely amazing.  Following an interesting little piano demo of “Dignity,” Dylan’s first take of “Born in Time” is — as the liner notes suggest — really the definitive version.

To be honest, I think the set might be worth the purchase if only for the “Born in Time” take and the new single “Dreamin’ of You,” an unreleased song from the Time Out of Mind sessions.  When I got home from a meeting late tonight, my first inclination was to record a song that was (a) comfortable for me to play, so I could get to bed on time, and (b) a Dylan song.

This fits both criteria!

That’s all for me for now, but you can fill your Laptop Sessions cavity with Jeff Copperthite’s offering tomorrow, Jim Fusco’s video on Thursday, and then I’ll be back.

See you next session!

“Artificial Energy” (The Byrds Cover)

Originally posted 2008-10-02 21:44:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jeff Copperthite:

Oh yeah – I get to bring in my favorite day to one of the cooler songs I know.

That’s right, it’s Thumpin’ Thursday® – naturally trademarked by yours truly.  I’m dedicated to bringing you not only every TT that I have left in the year, but in 2009 I hope you can count on your Thursdays every week to always be a Thumpin’ one.

And to go right along to that theme, I have a great tune from The Byrds tonight.  From their album “The Notorious Byrd Brothers” is a song introduced to me by (who else) Jim Fusco.  It’s the first track of the album and it’s a great album starter called “Artificial Energy”.  The song has an awesome horn part that overlays the entire song.  This album and song were recorded in 1967 – over 40 years ago.  A stereo version of the song is noted by having the horns loud enough to cause distortion that was still atypical to a record.

The album this comes from is one i’d like to hear.  I’ve read that it is one of their best albums, if somewhat short.

I also wanted to bring this song to the sessions to remind Jim of his days at Wesleyan University.  I hope your roommate was a Byrds’ fan man.

That does it for me tonight – but rest assured!  Tomorrow you will get to hear another song by myself, and then i’ll be back for another fantastic session on Sunday as well.  Chris will jump in Saturday to give me a break, but you can count on a session a day all the way through ’08.

I hope you enjoy today’s session!

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!

“The Girl With No Name” (Byrds Cover)

Originally posted 2008-04-24 13:42:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Okay, really obscure territory here on the music blog.

When my family was getting into the music of the Byrds back in 2000, we really went head-first and listened to every album they made throughout the 60s. Some were better than others because you could tell they were doing a lot of growing up, musically. Plus, many of their later-60s songs were very drug-tinged.

After Gene Clark left the band in late ’65 or early ’66, the band came out with one of their worst efforts, “5D”. I still liked most of the songs, but the playing was sloppy and they were high as a kite.

When we got to the superb “Younger Than Yesterday” LP (on Jim Fusco’s list of “Albums You Should Listen To”), I instantly gravitated to the songs of young Chris Hillman, bassist for the band. He is an amazing bass player, mostly because he was an accomplished mandolin and guitar player, so he took his soloing skills over to the bass for the Byrds.

I love his voice- it’s just so natural. There’s no weird accent. He doesn’t say the words in an odd way. He just sounds good, you know?  His voice is nice and clear and I was happy that he was getting a chance to write more music for the Byrds.  And, like in most bands, the songwriter usually sings his own original songs, so I was happier the more we listened to Byrds songs.

He wrote some of my absolute favorites: “Thoughts and Words”, “Have You Seen Her Face”, and “Time Between”, just to name a few. I plan on doing all of them in the future.

But for now, I give you this song off of “Younger Than Yesterday”, “The Girl With No Name”. It was a lot of fun to play and is a very short song. It’s funny that such a sweet sounding song was probably still influenced by drugs.  I’m just guessing here, but “The girl who had no name” could mean a couple things: For starters, maybe this lady lived on one of those hippie communes where they said, “Hey man, why do I need to be labeled with a name?  Can’t I just BE?”  That’s a possibility.  The other possibility, to me, could be that Hillman just didn’t bother asking for a name.  Whether he was under the influence of something that impaired his judgement at the time is something only he can attest to.

I think the Byrds are a great band to do acoustic cover song versions of.  Their songs had an interesting style.  You could almost tell that they wrote their original songs on acoustic guitar and then found a way to translate them into the psychedelic sound of the time.  “The Girl With No Name” is pretty straight-forward, so my acoustic version here for the music blog stays true to the original.  That’s another reason why I love doing the Laptop Sessions video blog.  In addition to reimagining popular songs acoustically, I like taking obscure songs and playing them for the world.  They’re great songs and they deserve some fresh attention.

I’m gearing up for next week’s big “#1 Week”, in which (other than Original Wednesday) we’ll be playing only cover songs that hit Number One on the Billboard charts.  Stay tuned for other great specialty weeks of cover song music videos coming soon, too!