By Jim Fusco:
I was so disappointed to find that Monday’s video wasn’t a Beatles song- myself and my fellow Acai Berries had an all-new Beatles video ready to go to keep the streak alive, but now I guess I’ll save it until next week. It’s a cool one, too, so be sure to check back!
Onto tonight’s video:
“You Can Do Magic” is one of those songs that I didn’t need to convince Becky to like. This was a Top 5 Billboard hit for America in the mid eighties and was their last big hit to date. Of course, they didn’t write this song and, if my memory serves me from reading the America Box Set liner notes like seven years ago, they didn’t play any of the instruments on it, either. The writer of the song basically wrote it for the members of America (namely Gerry Beckley, whose “unique” voice actually works pretty great on this song) to sing and had the whole thing ready. All Beckley and Bunnell had to do was overdub some vocals. The guitar solo part in the beginning does sound like Beckley’s style, so maybe it’s him on that part…
That first guitar part was something I tinkered with before going to our recording session last week. But then Steve came in and said, “Hey Jim, how about this over the beginning chords,” and busted out a great part on the 12-string Gibson that blew me away. So, out went my dinky solo on regular acoustic and in came Steve’s jangly solo on the 12-string. You can even hear Chris C. playing in the background (he’s actually on camera during next week’s video) if you turn it up, as he was picking the bass parts (an octave higher) on his mandolin.
Let me take this opportunity to say that I’ll finally admit that a Martin guitar is probably worth the extra money. Every time I pick up Steve’s guitar, I’m just in awe of how clean and clear it sounds. The low strings are especially crisp and it stays in near-perfect tune, too. They make a new all-wood version for around $999 (the company cited the recession as a reason to make an “affordable” guitar), but it’s probably going to be quite some time before I can justify purchasing that. Could be a nice Christmas present from Becky…for the next ten years…
And how about Steve’s vocals? He did a great job backing me up on this song- again, it’s like singing with my father or my brother. They already know the parts and just sometimes ask for me to clarify something. It’s not like I have to teach them the part- it just sorta comes naturally. What a breath of fresh air. It’s one of the big reasons (besides his ability to pick up chord changes by ear) why we can bust-out two videos during a recording session. And Chris C. can sight-read. One take and he’s ready to go. My vocals, even though I don’t like to point these things out, were a bit weak, as this take was done after two solid hours of playing and singing. Earlier takes (done in the first half-hour) were much stronger on my part- my voice was just tired at this point.
And, we get a rare glimpse of Steve on camera this week!! Don’t get used to it- you don’t see him at all in next week’s video! 🙂
I hope you enjoy this classic America tune. Of course, I’ll be back next week with another Traveling Acai Berries video, so come on back. But, while you’re at it, remember that we post every Monday and Thursday, as well! I, for one, love to keep up with the posts and I’ve read every single one. It’s great to check your email (remember to subscribe to the blog- click the links on the sidebar to the left) and get a fresh new post/video three times a week! Plus, check out our past videos, as they’re just as good as the new ones (I sound like one of those annoying AT&T Rollover Minutes commercials) and even if you started today, you’d have well over a year of quality entertainment at your fingertips.
On the personal front, this has been a good week of getting stuff done- painting over the weekend and securing a renter for our place (!!!!) was followed by delivering the lighting to our new house, which we got a mini tour of today. It looks amazing (we have trim around the windows, which is a novelty that we didn’t have in the condo) and it’s really coming together. I can’t believe it’s about three weeks away…
Until next week, enjoy tonight’s video and enjoy Jeff’s video on Thursday! It’s sure to please- talk to you then!