“If You Could Read My Mind” (Gordon Lightfoot Cover)

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to yet another all-new edition of everyone’s favorite acoustic cover song music blog! Today, I’m bringing you a song taken from Jim’s list of songs to record. He’s noticed that I’ve been having a hard time recently finding songs from new artists to cover — most of the songs I want (and I have quite the list) are either from artists I’ve recently covered or have difficult singing parts that I need more practice with. So, he suggested I do Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind.” I have always loved this song, and my passion for it was renewed when I picked up a copy of Gene Clark’s album Firebyrd. The album includes a cover song version of this song that I love every bit as much as the original. So, in a way, this is the perfect track to choose for a Laptop Session — a song by a new artist that was once covered by an artist whose material we have often covered on this video blog. If that made sense to you, then you deserve extra points!…

Regular fans of the Sessions may notice that I’m standing up tonight instead of sitting, as I have been for many of my recent video blog entries. Well, the reason is simple — even though this is not an upbeat song, I felt that I just wasn’t doing well with it while sitting. I’m kind of like Robert Redford’s character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in that way. In the film, Sundance (played by Redford) is asked to shoot a target in order to prove how good a shot he is. The man insists that he not draw from his holster; rather, he should simply take aim and shoot. He does so and misses. The man grins disappointedly and starts to walk away. Then, Sundance puts the gun back in his holster, draws, and rapidly shoots the rather small target repeatedly.

When the man looks at him, awe-struck, Sundance’s response is something like, “I’m better when I’m moving.”

While recording acoustic cover songs is obviously not anything like firing a weapon, I do often think about this comparison when I’m playing. When I’m on my feet, I tend to take what I’m playing more seriously and I truly feel more comfortable than if I were to sit and play.

Well, now that you have more information about my style of playing acoustic guitar music than you could ever have hoped for or desired to know, I’ll leave you with the actual session. I kind of wore myself down on this one, playing so many takes that, although it is technically solid, I feel that it lost some of the urgency of the earlier takes. Of course, it didn’t help that my computer lost battery power and shut down in the middle of my most perfect take. If only it had held out for two more minutes, I would have been done a half hour earlier than I was!

Okay, without further ado, here’s my version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind.” Don’t forget to hurry back tomorrow for an all-new and excellent session from Jeff!

See you next session!

“Sundown” (Gordon Lightfoot Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Oh…My…GOD!!  I am so angry right now!!  THREE TIMES- that’s right, three perfect takes of “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot it took before I could render tonight’s video and publish to YouTube.  Why?!?!  Because, for whatever reason, my computer corrupted my video TWICE!  It’s so much later than I want it to be.  And, if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I like to (and most times ONLY will) do things once and that’s it.  Tonight, I brought home Noreen’s 1967 Gibson 12-string acoustic and needed to get this song done.  Grrrrrr…..

And, of course, this happens on GROUNDHOG’S DAY!!  Wait, am I Bill Murray?

Anyway, onto the shorter (due to the late post) description of tonight’s video.

The legend of the guitar I’m playing in this video is that it was actually OWNED by Gordon Lightfoot at some point!!  I don’t know if that’s really true, but wouldn’t it be crazy?  I just had to ask Noreen to borrow it tonight.  Someday, I may inherit this beautiful guitar…but, seriously, I’m not hoping that day comes anytime soon at all.

I’ve always known this song, and always kind of knew Gordon Lightfoot did it, but I never knew the name (thank you Shazaam App on my iPhone!) and when I heard it again on the radio last week, I knew I had to do it.  Listening back, I noticed that it was recorded using a 12-string guitar.  Imagine if it was the same one on the recording…

This song is so easy- just slap a capo on the second fret and play E and B for the verse.  Then, do E, A, and D for the chorus and you’ve got it!  But, even in its simplicity, I find “Sundown” to be a very powerful song.  It’s got such a great tune.  And the original has really cool harmonies on the chorus.  I was hoping to round-up a posse to sing with me, but remembered that I live in Connecticut and would be nowhere near any semblance of a “posse” for at least 500 miles…

So, you get the standard one-man Laptop Session version of “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot here on the best blog ever created!

I have some new plans (that’ll cost me some money) to promote both the blog and my original music.  I save emails that interest me (advertisements, etc.) and then I let them stew in my mind for about four months.  After that, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to spend my money on.  And I think I’ve come up with two great ways of promotion that will help get me fans of my original music and help give the Laptop Sessions music blog some better search engine traffic.  If I play my cards right, I can do it all for under $100, which in terms of internet promotion is a STEAL.

On a final note, my brother Mike suggested today that he and I record the brand-new Barenaked Ladies single, “You Run Away” from their upcoming album in March.  I cannot wait for this album to come out.  It’s so exciting to get a new album from BNL and I’m excited to hear them as a four-piece band with more contributions from the “secondary” (if you can even say that with them) band members.  I hear there’s THREE Jim Creegan songs on the album!  He’s like the George Harrison of the group now. 🙂  Anyway, “You Run Away” came out on iTunes today and it’s AWESOME.  You really have to buy it.  They sound great.  They didn’t try to change their sound too much.  It’s just great rock’n’roll with great vocals.  And that’s the way to please me musically, folks.

I’ve been listening to some new stuff lately and can’t wait to share it with you- hopefully I’ll get some time soon.  Until next post, have a great week!

NOTE: This video was remastered in 2020 for improved video and sound.