By Jim Fusco:
Hello everyone and welcome to another new edition of the Open Mic Sessions! That’s the web video series where I showcase some performances from various Open Mic Nights throughout my travels in Connecticut (so far- that radius may increase!). I’m excited to bring you more original songs in my quest to play a different original song every time I go out there! At the pace I’m going, it’ll take me quite a while to cover all of my material.
Today, I bring you “How Are You Feeling Tonight?”, which is the last track off of my 2012 album, “Those Around Us”. This is a favorite of fellow Laptop Sessions songwriter Jeff Copperthite, as are most of my “album-ending” songs. I’ve always been critical of songs that various bands choose to end their albums. They tend to choose songs that are slow and introspective. I think “How Are You Feeling Tonight?” is also slow and introspective, but this song (the recorded version) has a good beat, too. It’s also got some biting electric guitar- some of my favorite guitar sounds I’ve done so far. I always want to send the listener off after listening an album with the want to play the disc over again. So, I try to put a catchy song at the end that will sound good juxtaposed with Track 1.
The original version of this song also contains block harmonies throughout the song. That’s kind of rare with me, which is odd considering how much I love harmony vocals. I can only really think of a couple other songs I’ve done that have harmony vocals throughout, namely “Never Outweigh the Chances” from my 2002 album, “My Other Half”. And that song was done like that on suggestion from my brother Mike, so it wasn’t even my own idea! I’m glad he made the suggestion, though, as I love the way that came out.
I thought this would be a good song to do solo acoustically in a live, open-mic setting. I wrote the song with an acoustic guitar handy, though I came up with the “How are you feeling tonight?” line while doing something else- probably just singing to myself in the shower or something. I liked the idea of that- many of us ask questions of those we care about, even though we already know the answer. Do we ask because we’re trying to confirm our suspicions? Are we asking to coax an answer out and possibly start a dialogue? Or, do we ask just out of concern? These are the types of questions I tried to explore during the writing of “Those Around Us”.
The funny thing is that I didn’t ask these questions consciously throughout the writing process for the album. After all of the songs were written, I realized the theme of the lyrics I was writing- analyzing the relationships between me and the people around me that I cared about…or used to, for that matter. I think someday I’ll look back on “Those Around Us” and will be thankful I delved-into that kind of thinking. I think it helped me understand the relationships I had (have) and the ones I wanted.
I hope you enjoy my open mic session of “How Are You Feeling Tonight?”, another original song here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic music video blog!