“Sloop John B” (Beach Boys cover)

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions with Jim Fusco! I went back to the Beach Boys cover songs well again for today’s video, but in a unique twist, this is one everyone’s heard of! Don’t worry, I’ll be back next time with a really obscure one. But, that one, along with “Sloop John B”, fits the theme of this season’s Laptop Sessions cover song music videos: songs that my kids love. You seem, there’s no Raffia playing in my house- my children listen to oldies songs just like their dear old dad. And they like them and request that I play them over and over again! So, I figured I should record these videos because my little Angie likes to watch them when we’re having our book reading time together before bed. It’s truly a joy to spend that time with her and I hope it never ends.

Today’s video is actually for my son, Jonny. I got him a copy of Al Jardine’s children’s book adaptation of “Sloop John B”, which is the Beach Boys’ adaptation of the Kingston Trio’s adaptation of a traditional folk song. Got that? 🙂 Anyway, the book is similar to the song, but has adapted lyrics that don’t include getting drunk and getting into a fist fight with a sea captain. It’s a cute book and I know Jonny likes the song. So, I figured I should give this one a try.

Now, I’ve been trying to take “big” songs with a lot of production and strip them down to a simple one-person acoustic. However, that’s kind of tough to do when the original song was a sea shanty that was sung by one person with an acoustic guitar. So, I took things a step further and adapted Brian Wilson’s arrangement that he did for the Beach Boys (at the behest of Alan Jardine) that ended up on the Pet Sounds album (and the biggest hit from that album, ahead of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “God Only Knows” and “Caroline, No”).

So, this is a pared-down version of the Beach Boys’ masterpiece, with just me and my Martin MMV acoustic guitar. You’ll notice that this was still during the “quarantine hair” phase, as well. At the time I actually didn’t think it looked ridiculous, which is why I recorded these videos then. Wow, was I wrong! But, the performance came out nicely and I’m happy to present one of the Beach Boys’ biggest hits for you here on the music blog, which is the ultimate source for acoustic songs.

Stay tuned, as I will continue bringing you new videos here on The Laptop Sessions, which is now in its 14th year. I hope you enjoy “Sloop John B” and we’ll see you soon!