By Jim Fusco:
Thanks for stopping by for your Tuesday edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog!
Today, I bring you a song written by Neil Young, “Cowgirl in the Sand”. Not only is this song one of his most famous, but it’s also generally well-known among country-rock music fans.
The version I’m doing is derivative of the version the Byrds did on their reunion album from 1975. That album isn’t wonderful by any means, but Gene Clark’s contributions are, of course, superb. He sings a great lead on this song, too. Gene Clark just had a great timbre to his voice. He could sing rock’n’roll music and country/western music with the best of them. Of course, Gene Clark was a great songwriter, too, both with the Byrds and on his own solo recordings. While searching around here on the music blog, be sure to click on Gene Clark’s category to see the other cover songs I’ve done written by him. If you’re not a fan now (or haven’t heard of him), I guarantee his original songs will get your attention.
This is one song that I never planned on doing, but came into my head one night, so I just sat down and did it! I think some people were a bit surprised that I busted this one out at our first live show as a trio the other day. My favorite aspect of the Byrds’ version of “Cowgirl In The Sand” is the harmonies on the chorus. I really hope that we can get those harmonies right in future performances, as I think that’s the flare the Byrds added to make the version their own.
Considering how the Byrds first started, it’s a bit surprising that they gravitated over to country rock like they did. They were initially marketed as a folk group, electrifying Bob Dylan songs like “Chimes of Freedom” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”. But, the band members of the Byrds, especially Chris Hillman, started out loving folk music in a different way- the classic, down-home country style. Chris Hillman is actually an accomplished mandolin player, and there is no better country guitarist than Roger McGuinn. Basically, they just threw an electric bass in Hillman’s hands and a 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar in McGuinn’s hands, and they had a big hit band. In later albums, the band members of the Byrds would write original songs that had a country flare to them, including Chris Hillman’s “The Girl With No Name”, which I’ve also done a cover song music video of here on the music blog.
You may also notice the “incredible fluctuating hairdo” of myself- I recorded this song before getting a haircut, as you saw in the “Aware” cover video (of an original song) from last week.
I hope to do more Neil Young songs in the future and I hope this cover song video attracts some new viewers and music lovers to the Laptop Sessions live acoustic music video series!