“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!

Watching the TNA “Against All Odds” 2009 Pay-Per-View…

By Chris Moore:

What better, more action-packed way to spend Sunday night than in front of the television, watching the TNA Pay-Per-View.  Tonight’s TNA PPV is the annual “Against All Odds,” taking place in the TNA Impact Zone.  All the more reason for the commentators to use the questionable (at best) adjective “impactful.”

I figured I would share some amateur, brief and to-the-point commentary and results as I watch, so here goes…

First Match – X-DIVISION TITLE MATCH: Alex Shelley VS. Eric Young

Some amazing action here to open the pay-per-view.  Some off the ropes, in the air action and some too close for comfort near falls.  When the smoke clears, Shelley is triumphant, taking home the X-division belt.

Winner: Alex Shelley

Interview – KURT ANGLE

Angle claims that he and Sting were both bred to win, and he claims that this is what it’s all about — they will push each other to improve and become even more talented and powerful than they already are.  He also claims that the Main Event Mafia will be stronger than ever once the match is over.  Really?  I’m not convinced…

Grudge Match – “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner VS. “Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams

There’s only one word for this match: pain.  Predominantly pain felt by Little Petey Pump.  There’s really not much else to say about it.  Scott Steiner, older as he may be, inflicted move upon painful move on Petey Williams, holding him and dropping him from high above his body while standing on the ropes not once, but multiple times.  Including once after the match ended!  It all came to a halt when the “all-new” Samoa Joe appeared, announcing that Scott Steiner is one of the five (aka Main Event Mafia members) that have led him to the sins he is about to commit.

Winner: Scott Steiner

Interview: MICK FOLEY and STING

Not much to report here, but Mick Foley and Sting did share a moment when Sting thanked Foley for a comment.  Sting being respectful?  Laying the groundwork for the next, perhaps post-Mafia phase of the war for respect?  Only time (and perhaps brutal beatdowns) will tell…

Dare Match – Brutus Magnus VS. Chris Sabin

Brutus Magnus appears and walks to the six-sided ring, repeating his challenge for an opponent.  Chris Sabin, having sat out the previous match with his partner Alex Shelley appears and is defeated by Brutus Magnus, who really does put on a good show.  It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Brutus Magnus in the upcoming TNA “Impact” episodes…


Devon asserted (and Ray agreed that he was “dead on ball accurate”) that Team 3-D will only be stronger after the upcoming match.  Unlike Angle’s similar claim about the Mafia, this actually rings true.  They end the interview when Ray announces they’re off to chat with Sting.  More to come, I’m sure…

Knockouts Match – ODB VS. Awesome Kong

Yes, the Kongtourage predictably joined Kong ringside, disobeying Jim Cornett’s specific orders last Thursday.  Cornett came out and threatened to give the Knockouts Championship belt to ODB if they didn’t leave.  He began the ten-count for them to decide, and about halfway through, Kong came over and grabbed him by the shirt.  ODB broke it up and the match began.  ODB tried once to pick Kong up — it looked as crazy as it sounds! — and, of course, failed.  Then she tried it again and scored a body slam!!  Incredible!!  Until, of course, Kong stood up, regained momentum, and landed an implant buster on ODB.

Winner: Awesome Kong


Ray wants to have the “old Sting” back and promises to back him if the old Sting does return.  We find out from Crystal that Kurt wants to talk to Sting before the match, but Sting says he’ll talk to him later, “on my own time.”  Uh oh.

Match: Referee Shane Sewell VS. Booker T.

Do I really need to explain this one in detail?  Sewell is the man, the room I’m in was unanimously rooting for him, but he lost.  It was predictable, although probably not in a bad way.  What was UNpredictable was AJ Styles running to the ring to prevent a post-match beatdown by Booker T.  So, it seems that things are looking worse and worse for the Main Event Mafia.  Kurt and Sting are feuding.  Samoa Joe is back.  Styles is back.  A good night to be a TNA Frontline fan…

Winner: Booker T.

Interview: Matt Morgan

Essentially, Morgan’s got a strep infection in his shoulder.  (I think he said strep — it didn’t sound like “staff”)  And yet he’s still here, ready to fight.  This is the second most emotionally-charged match of the night, second only to the Angle/Sting issues to come…

Grudge Match: Abyss VS. Matt Morgan

This really has been a long time coming.  A truly entertaining match — perhaps the funniest aspect was the referee getting upset with Abyss bringing weapons to the ring.  Um, why did the bats, garbage cans, and other foreign objects just HAPPEN to be stored underneath the ring?!  Overall, a pretty evenly balanced match, with Morgan landing some amazing moves like a dropkick on Abyss’ chest.  The bag of tacks comes out and the tension builds.  Then Rudy Charles gets accidentally knocked out!  As Jim said, the ref goes down, and the weapons will come out!  A near fall for Morgan.  A near fall for Abyss.  Abyss places the chair on Morgan, runs for momentum to jump on Morgan’s body — and Morgan rotates the chair at the last second for Abyss to land on, groin first.  A near fall here, a near fall there — Ref Slick is in the ring — and Abyss finally wins!!  Abyss spreads tacks across the ring, exposes Morgan’s bandages from his strep infection, and… Morgan rolls out and retreats just in time.

Winner: Abyss


Kurt Angle sounds soothing and supportive.  Which is always a dangerous sign.  But Angle does make sense here, telling Sting that they (the Mafia) need him to “win the war.”  Angle’s argument is that they must do what they must do tonight, but that tomorrow they are family again.  Angle extends his hand, Sting accepts and hugs him.  But Angle didn’t hug all that tightly, and after Sting left, he told Nash to keep an eye on Sting.  Curiouser and curiouser…

Tag Team Title Match: Beer Money VS. Lethal Consequences

Whether you like them or not, Beer Money is an incredible tag team.  Thus far, they’ve been pretty unstoppable.  More of the same tonight, resulting in their victory.  I really should describe the match in more detail to do it justice, but it ended the way it needed to.

Winner: Beer Money

Four-Way TNA World Championship Title Match: Brother Ray VS. Brother Devon VS. Kurt Angle VS. Sting

Mick Foley is out to announce.  I’ll keep this simple for all of you out there in web blog land — they all fight, then Team 3-D fights amongst themselves, then they all fight, then Kurt and Sting fight, Devon tries to pin Ray, Angle tries to pin Sting in a half-hearted manner, and when the smoke clears… it’s Sting retaining the title by pinning Ray!

Winner: Sting

Overall, this has been an entertaining, but classically predictable pay-per-view.  Until this Thursday on “Impact!”…