Mike Fusco Original Wednesday extra “You I Won’t Forget”

Originally posted 2009-04-08 10:33:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Hey everyone-

I’ve had this song recorded for awhile now, it was actually the first song I ever wrote on guitar (and it was completely by accident!)  I was waiting for Mr. Jim Fusco (who’s great new album “Halfway There” is available now for purchase!…you’re welcome, Fusc!) to get off the phone my sophomore year of high school so I can Dial up (for those of you who don’t know what that is, we used to have to dial up to go online and connect to a blazing 24.4 kbs on an old modem) and go on Instant Messenger.  AOL was the place to be at night in high school, and my brother took up our only phone line.

Impatiently waiting, I picked up my unplugged electric guitar I had received two years earlier (on Jim’s 16th birthday, actually).  My father can’t turn down a good deal, so he excitedly asked me if I wanted a guitar, too, and drove us to the JCPenny outlet store that morning before the party so I could have one as well =)  I never learned how to play it in those two years, but Jim had started to get the basics and knew all the chords.

I recall seeing him play a G (which, to a non-guitar player, looks like this cool, difficult chord).  So I pick it up, throw my fingers on it, get it completely wrong, but as soon as I strummed it, I LOVED the chord.  It sounded like a harp.  And an entire melody and lyrics hit me all at once, as I struggled the better part of the night to figure out how the strings worked and BS some chords to fit this new tune.

Needless to say, I never made it on instant messenger that night.  I became a guitar player =)  And it still goes down as one of my favorite songs, and I thank Jim for three things- 1. Vocals on the original recording 2. driving me home in the camaro everyday so I’d stare at the passenger-side side-view mirror that said “Objects are Closer Than They Appear” (listen for a variation in the song!) and 3. Talking on the phone too long. =)  enjoy!

“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” (The Monkees Cover)

Originally posted 2008-03-28 15:45:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Friday edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

Today, I’m doing a great tune written by Neil Diamond, but performed by the Monkees, “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”. Not only does this song have a great message (like “it’s not all my fault, but SOME of it is”), but has a catchy tune and chord progression.

Actually, it’s that classic 3-chord Neil Diamond style, just shifted up a few frets on a capo.

I hope you like my whistling solo in the middle there! :-)

BIG things are happening at Fusco-Moore Productions and I hope you’ll visit the blog (and our newly completed other suite of websites) today!

“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” (Johnny Cash acoustic folk song)

Originally posted 2009-08-31 22:00:08. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Johnny Cash chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

As the Mamas and the Papas would say: “Monday, Monday!”

Welcome to the first acoustic cover song music video of a brand new week here at the Laptop Sessions.  Tonight, I’m bringing you my second cover from Johnny Cash’s first posthumous release, American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways.  Yes, that’s right…  I specified “first” posthumous release, because I just read that American VI is scheduled for release later this year.  Apparently, Cash was working on V up until he passed away.  I was under the impression that V was a collection of material that was still unreleased, but that’s more along the lines of what VI will be.  Even so, I am very excited to hear this final collection when it is released.

What brought on this sudden return to Johnny Cash’s recent work, you might ask?  Well, I found the first American Recordings CD on sale at Newbury’s last week and decided to pick it up.  Truly good new albums have been far and few between this summer, with the exception of the Fruit Bats’ The Ruminant Band earlier this month — a very pleasant surprise to say the least!

I’ve been enjoying American Recordings thus far; it clearly displayed a lot of potential, which was explored on the four — and soon to be five — subsequent editions of the series.  The only one I have yet to hear is American Recordings II, which includes the classic “I’ve Been Everywhere,” which Jim worked into my version of “Folsom Prison Blues” way back when for my second Laptop Session cover song video ever.

The song I chose for tonight is “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” one of my favorites from American Recordings V.  It is a traditional song that Cash truly made his own, a song that has the ability to be simultaneously catchy/rockin’, and yet haunting/foreboding.  I had a fun time playing and practicing it the past few days, and I hope you’ll enjoy watching it.  As I mentioned earlier, this is the second song I’ve covered from this album, if you count Johnny Cash’s cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind,” one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

In other music news, I spent some time tonight reading about R.E.M.’s forthcoming double-CD live album that will include 39 tracks culled from their 2007 shows at the Olympia.  To be more specific, they played five shows in a row as they tried out new material for their 2008 album Accelerate.  In addition, they also played their hits and deep tracks.  I’ve wanted to hear these performances since I heard their new album, and I’m truly thrilled to hear this concert when it comes out in a couple months.  If you’re an R.E.M. fan, too, you should check out the videos for the two songs — the excellent “Living Well is the Best Revenge,” for which I recorded a Laptop Session, and Automatic for the People opening track “Drive — that have debuted on RollingStone.com.

And if you’re someone who has lost interest in Michael Stipe and company since they went through what can only be called a boring streak recently, then you need to give Accelerate a shot.  You won’t be disappointed.

I’ll leave you with one final, music-related note.  I added to Paste Magazine‘s trending topic on Twitter.com about the best albums of the 00’s, and shortly thereafter learned that I am the only person in the universe to have ever tweeted about the Wallflowers’ Red Letter Days, much less mention the album as one of the best during the decade.

I know; it’s quite the distinction…

See you next session!

“All For You” (Sister Hazel Cover)

Originally posted 2009-08-24 12:30:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Sister Hazel chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to another week of brand new cover song music videos!  For me and Jeff, this week isn’t just another week, though.  I’ll be back in school on all but Wednesday this week, so it’s the beginning of the end of summer.

As with every summer in my life, this one wraps up with me having accomplished some tasks that I’m proud of, and yet falling short of doing all that I wanted to.  As Jeff pointed out in last week’s post, the summer certainly does fly by.  If you’re an ambitious person — like myself — and yet a person who puts value on relaxation during the summer — like myself — then you’re bound to feel like you’ve fallen short (watch it!) by the end of August.

On the plus side, I spent an incredible amount of time this summer playing guitar.  I have played my own songs as well as some of my favorite Laptop Sessions cover songs repeatedly until I can now comfortably pick up and play about twenty different songs without worrying about forgetting lyrics or chords.  Unfortunately for me, my mastery of a song — whether a cover version or an original — fades over time, so this practice was a process.  In the midst of all this playing, I’ve been bitten by the writing bug, and I have written ten songs over the past couple months.  Of the ten, five are complete and five have some more work to be done, namely lyrics here and middle eights there.  I’m really excited about this set of songs, and when I combine them with the best from my previous four years of songwriting — yup, it’s been a whole four years since Love Out of Fashion — I have a set of songs that I’m really proud of.

Now the only problem is what to do with them…

Jim offered his services as producer, drummer, and instrumentalist extraordinaire on my next album as a birthday present last year, and I gave him some demos a while back which we talked about a bit.  However, now that I’m not living with him, it presents a difficult situation in terms of really living with the songs and playing, recording, listening, mixing, and otherwise playing around with the tracks as the album is in progress.  At home, I have the facilities via my MacBook to record demo-quality tracks with layered vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and harmonica, but I really should invest in a higher quality mic.  And, without drums, what’s the point at this, well, point?

So, for now at least, the songs remain as demos.  I’m itching to work with them, though, so it’ll only be a matter of time before I work out a plan for how to put these songs down in some enjoyable format.

Without further ado, I bring you my Laptop Session of the day, a cover of Sister Hazel’s “All For You” from their 1997 album …somewhere more familiar.  This band is most definitely what you would refer to as a one hit wonder, as “All For You” reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Unless you count #59 as a hit – which is the height reached by their 2000 single, “Change Your Mind,” the highest charting of any subsequent single in their career – then they are one hit wonders indeed.

Just last week, Sister Hazel released Release, and I decided to try it out.  At the same time I was in Newbury Comics, I came across a used and very cheap used copy of their aforementioned 1997 album, so I picked that up as well.  The older album is very ambitious with Lennon/McCartney-esque harmony duets on every song (a la “All For You”).  The instrumentation is very catchy and impressive, even if all the songs do start to sound the same after a while.

Regardless, I’ll be listening to the new album this week and I’ll get back to you.  For now, though, I ask you to direct your attention to the video below, and I kindly remind you not to close this tab until you’ve come back tomorrow for Jim Fusco Tuesday and then again for Jeff’s “Thumpin’ Thursday.”

See you next session!