“Don’t Cry No Tears” (Neil Young Cover)

By Jeff Copperthite:

Happy Saturday to everyone out there on the internet! It’s Jeff Copperthite bringing you the latest installment of The Laptop Sessions. I bring you a new artist for me, but not a new artist for the sessions.

That of course would be a classic one at that – Neil Young, and the first track off of his album “Zuma” called “Don’t Cry No Tears”. It’s a short and sweet song that I was able to technically record in one take. I had meant to record it earlier in the day, but battery problems with my camera (read: camera turning off in the middle of a take) caused me to postpone recording it until about 10 minutes ago. Thankfully I have practiced this one all week.

I decided to record this song after hearing a Wallflowers cover of this song, and you will hear another song in 6 days because of the same reason. It will also be a new artist to the sessions, unless Jim or Chris randomly decide to cover the same artist, or the same song! I’ll leave that to chance, and let you wonder who it could possibly be.

In the meantime, enjoy this classic from Neil Young. Come back in a little while to hear Jim’s newest session!

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!

“Cowgirl in the Sand” (Neil Young & the Byrds Cover)

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!

“Carry On” (Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young Cover)

By Jim Fusco:

Yes, the dream is still alive with me here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.  I’ve said it a thousand times- we are simply the best music video blog ever created and I intend to keep it that way.  That’s why, tonight, I bring to you yet another new artist to the blog.

I can’t believe it’s taken this long to get to an amazing and popular acoustic act in Crosby, Stills, Nash, and (sometimes) Young.  Talk about a supergroup- not only did they amass a ton of hit singles and albums over the years, but they are comprised of some of rock music’s most popular and influential singers and songwriters: David Crosby (formerly of the Byrds), Stephen Stills (formerly of Manassas), Graham Nash, and Neil Young.

This band is credited with some of the most innovative and great songs of the seventies- they were keeping rock alive and doing it while playing their own instruments and singing in great, tight harmonies.  I don’t know why I don’t love this band more than I have in the past- think about it- they have four songwriting members, sing harmonies, and play their own instruments.  Those are all qualities of my favorite bands!  I have to get my hands on a “Best of” to get me started.

Truthfully, though, I remember not getting into their albums too much because of the extended jams and such.  I’m more of a 3-minute catchy song kinda guy.  But, when learning tonight’s song on acoustic guitar, I realized that it’s really three separate songs wrapped-up into one neat 4-minute masterpiece.

“Carry On” kicks off an amazing album in “Deja Vu”, which some consider to be one of (if not THE) best albums of all time.  Personally, I don’t think so, but I see where they’re coming from.  You have this supergroup of stars and they come out with fresh new music that rocks and they start this whole revolution of Seventies acoustic rock that some of my favorite acts, like America, modeled themselves after.  As recently as 2003, you had the Thorns, a “supergroup” of sorts in itself (with 90s acts Shawn Mullins, Matthew Sweet, and Pete Droge), who sounded EXACTLY like CSNY.

Of course the chords for “Carry On” that you find online are correct…to a certain degree.  I had to work some magic to find out that it’s actually on a first fret capo.  Also, on the bridge during the first three verses, they had the chords wrong, mostly because the bass guitar in the recording is playing a different note than what matches the chord the acoustic guitars are doing.  So, I improvised and came up with an interesting chord progression for that part that I thought both fit and sounded cool.  It may not be exactly correct, but it’s my little interpretation.

On a personal note, every day seems to get shorter and shorter.  I have so much to do on a daily basis, between working on four websites, work, and (helping to) plan a wedding.  I found out that I’m going to get my discs for “Halfway There” during the first week of April, so I’m aiming for an April 7th release date.  I need to do many updates to our site here and add pages to my site, too.  What a project- that’s why I only do one once every two…three…four…years.

Have a great night, and I’ll catch you tomorrow to re-attempt posting my Original Wednesday from last week that was inadvertently erased!