“Something Good This Way Comes” (Jakob Dylan Cover)

By Jeff Copperthite:

And now, I am proud to bring you another great addition to The Laptop Sessions library. While he is technically not a new artist, his solo work is.

Today, Jakob Dylan released his first solo album “Seeing Things”, and to celebrate this release, I have dedicated today’s Laptop Session to this album. I have been very excited about it and can’t wait until amazon ships it to me.

Meanwhile, about 2 days ago I finally figured out how to play today’s song “Something Good This Way Comes”. It is track 8 and has been one of the songs on his website for quite some time. The album is very heavy on the acoustic guitar, and also finger picking. While I’m not new to it, I don’t do it often. Obviously, a single acoustic guitar (where Jakob Dylan is using 4+ in some songs) will not sound as much like the album, but I think this effort is quite good.

Also, you’ll notice the first verse I seem a bit loud. I sorta forgot “gee i’m fingerpicking I better sing a little softer”. The rest of it sounds fine, however.

If you wanna know the chords (relative to 2nd fret Capo), the verse is:

D G D D G D Em D A Em D A

Chorus is: G A D
Bridge is: F#m, Bm, A, D, E, A7

I hope you enjoy today’s session, and I hope you have picked up (or will pick up) “Seeing Things”. I can’t wait to hear the entire album! Come on amazon…

Meanwhile, enjoy today’s session, and come back tomorrow for another Original Song by Jim Fusco! I can’t wait to see what he chooses.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Jeff’s acoustic cover song music videos are no longer on YouTube, but we decided to keep his cover song blog posts up.  We figured these music blog entries would be good for posterity’s sake and because Jeff always gave such insightful posts each Session.  We hope to see Jeff’s impressive catalog of acoustic rock songs here on the Laptop Sessions cover songs and original music blog again in the future.  But, for now, please make sure to check-out hundreds of other acoustic cover songs from all of your favorite bands here on the Laptop Sessions music blog!

“I Think We’re Alone Now” (Tommy James and the Shondells Cover)

Hey there!  So I haven’t posted in awhile and I wanted to put on a great tune that I’d been meaning to learn how to play for awhile (and I did, and it’s easy!)   This Tommy James and The Shondells song is a classic, and when you listen to the actual recording, you can see how ahead of its time the production is.

And to me, the message is simple and in which I can easily relate.  You have two people in love, running around together, almost as if they’re trying to escape getting old and time itself.  And that’s what love makes you feel…like you’ll always be young and always be happy.  Ive had conversations even with family where people have said how rare it is for two people to have that… seem like they get each other so well, and the rest of the world is left out of whatever inside joke is going on between them.  That’s what this song, to me, is about…When you’re with the one you’re meant to be with, you are the BEST version of yourself.  You are stronger because of them, more creative, and in the busy world, you sometimes can’t remember who you truly are unless you get back there again.

And then you find yourself saying with a sigh of relief…”I think we’re alone now”.. =)

And for those guitar players out there, without going into the full layout of the song, the chords are A, C#m, f#m, E for the verse, c#m and A G E for the bridge, and the chorus is A, E, D, A.  So go try it out!

Or just listen and enjoy my version instead!  And as a birthday present to me, (this coming monday!), you should leave me some good ratings/comment


The State of the Cover Address, 2010

By Chris Moore:

Greetings, my fellow musicians and music lovers.  I come before you tonight in the form of an actual blog post, airing my thoughts and feelings for the Internet to read.  Take them for what they are.

Ever since Jeff’s Eagles cover songs posted on YouTube were tagged for copyright infringement, I’ve been increasingly interested — and concerned — about the state of the acoustic cover song.  Now that I’ve been hit for alleged infringement by corporate superpower Sony Music, I find myself having a personal stake in this debate:

Should it be — and, perhaps a more pressing question: is it — illegal to post acoustic cover song music videos on YouTube?

I’d like to start at the beginning.  A cover song is a performance by one singer/musician of another songwriter’s composition.  For as long as there has been music, there have been covers.  It is through cover songs that we learn how to play guitar, not to mention how we feel out our own songwriting styles and preferences.  Cover songs provide an avenue for us to explore our influences in a very personal manner, as we must take in every nuance from the original performance, decide which work for us and which do not, and attempt to recreate the song in a way that is fitting to our own abilities.

Finally — and this is where the legality of it all comes in — cover songs are what listeners are often interested in before they listen to the original music of a new songwriter.

The members of the Laptop Sessions music blog have spent countless hours preparing for and playing shows at bars, restaurants, fairs, and other venues at which we would have loved to play all original music.  However, most promoters and managers required that we bring songs that were more well-known to their customers.  Thus, we set out to learn some of our favorite rock songs — the standards, in most cases, from mainstays like the Beatles, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and others.  Although we made money here or there, even this was never for profit.  Over the years, considerably more money has gone into these ventures than we have ever seen in return.

No, and perhaps this is a point that multi-million dollar attractions like the Eagles and Bob Dylan have forgotten, the point was never to make money.  The point was to perform in front of an audience, to have our music heard, and to practice with the intent to become better musicians, songwriters, and performers.  This desire naturally progressed into Jim’s conception and development of the Fusco-Moore blog, better known now as the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover song music video blog.  Week after week since its 2007 inception, the Laptop Sessions performers have chosen songs that they loved, practiced them tirelessly, run through multiple performances until a satisfactory recording could be captured, and posted a textual component to augment the video, explaining trivia about the song, as well as commenting on the quality of the song (such as why we feel it has been underrated, forgotten, honored for good reason, etc.).

The point is that our cover songs have been labors of love.

(At this point, I will highlight the fact that I speak only for myself by switching to the first person singular, but I do believe the other contributors would agree, at least to a degree.)

Although I hoped that people would naturally gravitate toward my original music if they liked my cover song performances, it was never a necessary component.  I haven’t sold even one track since I started contributing to the Laptop Sessions 192 original and cover song music videos ago: if profit were my intention, I would have stopped months and probably years ago.

These cover song performances have allowed me to study a variety of songwriting styles at close range, artists as wide-ranging as Bob Dylan to Pearl Jam, Tegan and Sara to the Lovin’ Spoonful, and even, most recently, Pink.  The experiences I’ve had have fueled my commentary and criticism in my blog posts, as well as the direction my interests have gone, most directly affecting the CD’s I buy (yes, corporate music labels, we are among the few people still buying music in legal CD and vinyl formats on a very regular basis).

Which brings me back to the present.  Last week, I was hit with a copyright infringement notice from YouTube that was brought against me by Sony Music on behalf of Bob Dylan.  Why my cover of “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” was chosen among my other Dylan covers, I can’t be certain, but I’m sure that more allegations are on the way.  It would appear that my only recourse is to file an official DMCA counter-notification.  Before I do this (and sign my name to the promise that “I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the district in which my address is located, or if my address is outside of the United States, the judicial district in which YouTube is located, and will accept service of process from the claimant.”), I want to be certain of what the law states.  While I agree with Jim’s reading of the fair use provision in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, I have also found legal forums where members disagree with our reading and proclaim cover song music videos to be a violation of copyright.

My correspondence with the YouTube Copyright Team has thus far only yielded a reply in which they simply copied and pasted text from their FAQ section, but I have restated my email to be clearer.

Essentially, I want to know (and have asked) if acoustic cover song music videos posted for non-profit, personal use on YouTube are in fact illegal.

When I receive a reply, I will add it here.

Until then, I am left frustrated by the irony of Bob Dylan — Sony Music, technically, but in the name of Bob Dylan — attempting to intimidate me out of posting cover songs on YouTube.  This is the same Dylan who earned a living, albeit a meager one, playing covers in Greenwich Village in the early sixties.  This is the same Dylan accused in the interviews of multiple friends from that period of literally stealing music, lifting vinyl from various people’s collections.  This is the same Dylan who has built his early respect and his contemporary catalog on the foundations of the music of the past.

Why has he not been shunned, brought to court, or otherwise attacked?  Because anyone who cares to look more closely at these aspects knows he has undertaken each of these actions in the name of honing his craft, experiencing and adding to his influences, and continuing to create thought-provoking, entertaining performances.

He is my acoustic, folk, rock, and just plain music role model, and frankly I am left with a sour feeling in the pit of my stomach as I obsessively review the censure I have received from YouTube, staring at my hundreds of dollars of Dylan music and merchandise and wondering how such an insignificant figure in the music industry as myself could be perceived as such a threat, such a criminal, by the establishment.

I await an answer from YouTube.

Jim Fusco reaches 250,000 YouTube Video Views!

Tonight, I just checked my YouTube stats and noticed that I am over 250,000 YouTube video views! This represents a combination of acoustic cover song music videos, how-to videos, and original songs.

I thank everyone for their support. At this rate, I’m on par to reach 500,000 total views by the end of the year- that’s doubling my current total, which took me sixteen months to originally get! Now, I’m looking to double my views in only eight months. And, if our past data shows us anything, it’s that the Laptop Sessions acoustic songs music videos only seem to gain in popularity day after day.

So, here’s to the first quarter-million (wow, that sounds good) and on to the next! It is a life goal to get to 1,000,000 views on YouTube- many people have views in the thousands, tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, but it’s a very small percentage that can get to a million and that’s exactly what I’d expect from myself and the Laptop Sessions over the coming months.

Thanks to all viewers and keep watching!