“Harmony” (Jim Fusco Cover)

By Jeff Copperthite:

And here is my installment for “Original Wednesday”, where we at FMP dig into each other’s libraries of original songs and play them on video.

I chose Jim’s song “Harmony” from his 2005 album “What about today?”, which is available on fusco-moore.com, and other well-known sites.

This song closes out that album, and is the perfect album closer. Up-tempo, short, meaningful, and extremely catchy.

During the second bridge my voice went a bit nasal on me, but I recovered in perfect harmony (booya! Another one for the Jeffster!). This is also the first one I recorded in my “studio”, which is my spring upgrade project. Watch out for the video “As the wall is built” when I work on painting and building this studio into a sweet looking musicstation.

I hope you enjoy the video!

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 origianal 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!

“Surrender To Me” (McGuinn, Clark, & Hillman Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to your Monday, Monday edition of the Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!

If you take a look at the last few posts, you’ll notice all the work I’ve been doing over the past 24 hours.  I’ve managed to mix, master, and put online three concerts worth of material.  The last one has 35 songs!  Then, I finally posted my photos from our TNA Wrestling show back in May.  Finally, I went through and backed-up literally 100 gb of data that was clogging up my laptop’s harddrive.  I put all of it on DVDs, which meant that I needed to complete everything before I backed it up and deleted it from my hard drive.

This is the first time in about nine months that the coffee table is clear of five spindles of DVDs.

Today, I bring you a song that Chris, Becky, and I have been playing since the beginning.  Back in late high school, I fell in love with the music of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, and Chris Hillman.  I mean, I was already a fan of the Byrds, but we had recentely gotten this album called “McGuinn, Clark, and Hillman”.  It was recorded in the mid-seventies, long after the original Byrds broke up and reformed.

A few tracks on this album, including the first track (which Jeff did as a Laptop Session- Click HERE to view it!) meant a lot to me at the time.  I was with my first girlfriend (and so proud that I had a CD player in the car- my 1990 Camaro) and the way we got together was a little weird.  We kinda had a thing going a year or so earlier, but then something happened to make us not talk for a long time.  I’m being vague not because I want to be, but because I honestly don’t remember.  That’s why I wrote in a journal every single day, I guess.  I’ll have to go back and read up on it.  Anyway, when we finally made it happen, I just thought the song “Long Long Time” was perfect for it.  I hope you’ll listen closely to the words in Jeff’s version and you’ll see what I mean.

“Surrender To Me” is a great song for a couple of reasons- mostly because of McGuinn’s incredible guitar work.  I actually based our live version half on the album version and half on the acoustic demo with Hillman and McGuinn.  Having Chris there to play the rhythm guitar (back when we first started playing live, he had a ton of trouble doing harmony parts while playing), Becky singing with me, and me playing a guitar solo I could actually handle, this was a prime choice.  I just wish more people had heard of it.  But, that’s okay- most people probably think it’s an original, which is major points for me!

Actually, this song is a cover itself.  Neither McGuinn, Clark, or Hillman wrote this tune.  But I still think it’s a great one and a standout track on the album.  Coming up on my next Session starts my suite of videos recorded in the great outdoors.  These videos are part of what the Laptop Sessions is all about, coupled with those Jeff did while on vacation- they’re LAPTOP Sessions!  We can record them anywhere and bring them to you from whereever you may be.  Enjoy today’s Session and make sure to come back tomorrow for Chris’ video, Wednesday for Jeff’s Original Wednesday (which I hope he comes through and plays us his new song), and to download all the new concerts!

“If I Fell” (The Beatles Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome, welcome to another edition of the Laptop Sessions featuring myself and the Traveling Acai Berries!  We’re continuing our month-long tribute to Beatles cover songs tonight (have you seen the great posts by Chris and Jeff these past two weeks?) with one of their finest early songs in “If I Fell”.

“A Hard Day’s Night” is an interesting film.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth your while.  If you haven’t yet fallen in love with the Beatles, then this movie will seal the deal.  If you’re someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to live through Beatlemania, then this movie will show you what it was really like.  The fact that the boys could be so fun loving and charming during all that craziness proves why they were such a special group.

But, throughout the hype, they remained relevant and cool.  You might write-off some of their early hits like “She Loves You” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as early-sixties fluff (you’d be an idiot, by the way), but there were some really introspective gems throughout their first few albums.  Go ahead and listen to “Things We Said Today” or “No Reply” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.  These guys were not only great musicians and songwriters, but they were “deep, man”.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney (and even George Harrison on his early work like “Don’t Bother Me”) were ahead of their time in so many ways that I can think of 50 more songs I want to record for the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.

“If I Fell” is one of those songs that just “gets you”.  I, for one, cannot stop singing it in my head.  The tune is one that goes back into itself constantly and is on permanent loop up there.  Couple that amazing tune with the harmonies of John and Paul (with Paul’s amazingly high vocals that I think I nailed pretty well) and you’ve got a classic Beatles song, indeed.  Both my father and my fellow Acai Berry Steve said that this song stood out to them when they watched “A Hard Day’s Night” and to me, that says it all.  When you’re up against the heavyweight singles on that album (like the title track) and the response is, “If I Fell really stood out to me,” then you know it’s a great song.

We couldn’t get Steve on camera again this week and Chris C. was busy studying sheet music (you can finally hear him this week!), so he was off-camera.  We had our fourth member, Bill, there for the session, but he had to leave early and we couldn’t get his guitar playing on the video.  I’m hoping that Bill can coax Steve on camera, as four people on camera makes you stand-out much less as an individual than when there’s only two people.  Anyway, I hope to record some more songs in two weeks, so maybe I’ll soften him up by then.  Next week is the last of our Beatles quatrain (like that little music term there?) and we’ve got a whole bag of tricks that should keep things fresh and interesting here on the best music blog ever created!

That’s right, I said, “Best EVER!”  Believe me?  Then comment about it!  We’d love to hear from you and, yes, each comment you leave brings Steve one more inch closer to appearing on camera!  So, get commentin’ and we’ll see you next week for another installment of Jim Fusco Tuesdays.  Stay-tuned for an all-new video by Jeff Copperthite, coming up Thursday!

“‘Til I Die” (Beach Boys Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Hello everyone and welcome to another Beach Boys edition of the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog! Tonight’s song, “Till I Die” by the Beach Boys, goes out to everyone on the Brian Wilson message board, especially those who contributed to that great post about the Laptop Sessions.

Tonight’s song is ‘Til I Die, one of Brian Wilson’s most introspective and personal songs. I love the harmonies (Bruce Johnston once said that he believes it’s the last true Beach Boys song, with all the counter-harmonizing), but I think this paired-down version translates well. This performance shows how singularly personal this song can be.

If you’re a big fan like me, then I’m sure you’ve heard the alternate version of “Till I Die” that a producer made while mixing and mastering the “Surf’s Up” album.  That version of this great Beach Boys song is very unique.  It features almost the whole song with just the instruments playing.  It’s pretty spooky to hear the cool vibes that Brian Wilson put into the original song.  But, the most fascinating part of the instrumental section is how few instruments are used.  The Beach Boys’ harmonies in “Till I Die” are wonderful and they fill up the whole song.  It’s incredible to hear how Brian Wilson put it all together.

Of course, when you start listening to the lyrics, you realize how alone Brian felt while writing this song.  As a songwriter, Brian Wilson usually had other people write the lyrics for him.  But, I’m sure he contributed to the meaning of the song and knew the sentiment he wanted to get across.  As you can tell, Brian was feeling lonely and realized that his life wasn’t going to change.  And, yes, that was true for quite some time.  Even when his other band members/family finally got him out of bed a few years later, it was embarrassing (remember the “Brian Is Back” campaign?) and short-lived.  Instead of being the songwriter he was for the Beach Boys back in the early-mid sixties, he only wanted to play old songs he loved.  Thus, the cover songs you hear on “15 Big Ones”.  And when he actually went back to writing again, he was writing about pedestrian things like watching TV (“Johnny Carson”) and his family (“I Wanna Pick You Up”).  I guess the good part was that Brian was finally living his life again, but somehow I doubt the PR image we’ve all been given really reflects his life at the time.  He was neglecting his family members and I think there are some clues to that in songs from “Love You”.  For instance, in “I Wanna Pick You Up” is about how he still thinks his children were “babies”, even though he had essentially missed those important years of their lives.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s music video and thanks for watching this Beach Boys cover song here on the music blog!