Outer Banks

As the hurricane rolls in, today’s song is fitting, I was originally gonna post it as an end of summer song. One of my favorite recordings (because of the classical and electric guitar parts), Outer Banks is a very old song.   I wrote it my freshman year at Appalachian and then re-wrote it for the Carolina Songs album.

It features the MasterPlan, Jason Peeler, Chris Singleton and John Kell and perfectly reflects the conflict of leaving everything behind to move to a quiet place at the beach. Something all of us working folk can relate to.

Click to listen
Click to listen

Cd-Baby-logo2Click here to listen on iTunes


I’ll move from the Seeing Eye Band album back to my other recent re-release Getaway Plans Anniversary Remix.  This is a song that didn’t make the original album for some reason but it has now been resurrected.  Recorded with the Parakeet Nelson band featuring John Wayne Tuggle on slide guitar, Dwayne Wallace on bass and Dave Brockway on drums.

It’s a song basically telling the story of my music career.  I’ve always been so eclectic and all over the place I guess it’s always been hard to put my music into one category.  We played this song live for a few years but this is the first time it’s been unleashed into the online music lexicon.  Thanks for listening!!

Click to listen to the entire album.
Click to listen to the entire album

Click here to listen on iTunes


Falling Star by the Seeing Eye Band

This was the first song I ever wrote with open chords on the guitar and it was probably my most popular song (at least with the ladies) in high school.  That is until I wrote “Flannel Dreams” a year or so later.  After listening back and mastering this album, this song seems so out of place with all the other hard driving funky numbers we played.  That’s been the story of my career, I love to play ballads like this but I equally love to rock and get funky.

The video was recorded by Joe Long at Comma in Morganton, NC around February in 1990 and is highlighted by Jason Peeler hunched over the keys making it happen (he was a guitar player at that point before switching to bass and then ultimately landing on drums on which he still performs with me to this day).  Greg Beaver is always great on bass and of course Jeramy Lamanno (aka Hiro Noodles) is a legend in his own right.  I’m still learning to play guitar and sing at this point so bear with me.

Thanks for listening!

SEB-Front-Yard-CvrClick here to listen on iTunesCd-Baby-logo2

Gamblin Man video by the Seeing Eye Band

More teenage rock from my high school band the Seeing Eye Band.  Featuring Greg Beaver, Jeramy Lamanno, Jason Peeler (who still plays with me today) and myself.  This line up had only been together a few months when this was filmed after we all decided to switch instruments.  I made the jump from drums to guitar a few months earlier which is why my guitar solos get a little testy to say the least.

Zombie Zone by the Seeing Eye Band

The energetic closer to the Seeing Eye Band album.  I name drop Fred Rumfelt, the engineer and owner of the studio where we recorded the album in beautiful Marion, NC and the Sunn PA that we were always so proud of because we bought it with gig money.  Fred was a kind man and a heck of a gospel engineer.  He also had no problems with our teenage rock.  The album was recorded on a 1 inch eight track and mastered down to cassette.

The ridiculous intro to this song always makes me laugh.  Thanks for listening!

The Seeing Eye Band - Psychedelic School Bus cover.

SEB Yard PicClick here to listen on iTunes

Riverboat Special by the Seeing Eye Band

Here’s another deep cut from the Seeing Eye Band – Psychedelic School Bus. We were so young and naive about recording that we did the entire album in one take with basically just a few backing vocal overdubs.  Messing up never even entered our mind luckily.  Ah, to be young again.The Seeing Eye Band - Psychedelic School Bus cover.SEB House PicClick here to listen on iTunes

Psychedelic School Bus by the Seeing Eye Band

I am super excited to announce the worldwide release of our Jr. high/high school band’s first studio album, Seeing Eye Band – Psychedelic School Bus.  Featuring Oak Hill Jr. high alumni, Greg Beaver, Jeramy Lamanno, Jason Peeler and myself, we were a pretty tight and funky original band even if I had only been playing guitar for about six months.

The Seeing Eye band was the third incarnation of this line up.  We originally started out as the heavy metal band Armageddon with additional members, John Dockery and Jason Spake (and the rest of us playing completely different instruments) and then evolved into the Silver Plated Sixshooters.  This change happened when I decided to retire from drumming to play guitar after opening for The Past (before they became Copperhead) at the Western Peidmont 4th of July fireworks and witnessing the awesome power of Neil Carswell’s vocals and John Byrd’s guitar.  Seeing Darryl Corley pick and sing at Oak Hill was also a big inspiration for me to switch, as well as my burgeoning obsession with Neil Young and Uriah Heep.

What is really awesome is that 26 years later we are all still playing music!  That’s a testament the strong music scene that Morganton has.

This album was originally named the Seeing Eye Band Vol. 1, but I have remixed it and changed the order of the songs to reflect our super funky sound and figured after collaborating with my Mealtime Brown colleague, Jeramy Lamanno that Psychedelic School Bus was more fitting for this release.

Psychedelic School Bus was always a crowd favorite.  Greg’s bass on it (and the whole album) is awesome and Jeramy’s drums are super tight.  Add my affinity for the wah wah pedal and you’ve got yourself a psychedelic freak out.

The album was recorded at Fred Rumfelt’s legendary studio in Marion, NC.  He was a great man.

Thanks for listening!!  More songs to come and there will be a page on this site that will have all the songs together in a few days.  The album is available on iTunes, amazon etc., although cdbaby.com is our preferred site for folks to buy.

The Seeing Eye Band - Psychedelic School Bus cover.

Click here to listen on iTunes


Drinking Gasoline

2nd song from Getaway Plans remix featuring the great Jason Fuller on piano.  This is by far my most popular song in Morganton, my home town, because it is about a true story of what we saw one night at the 3 Way Supply up at Lake James.  It’s a funny song without a chorus, just a good old americana instrumental breakdown.  Thanks for listening!

Click to listen to the entire album.
Click to listen to the entire album.

Click here to listen on iTunes

Welcome to Chris Cates.com. I'm an old school independent artist with lots of albums, songs, solar panels etc. This site tries to encapsulate what it is I've been doing since I played my first professional gig at 13. I post a song of the day occasionally from my somewhat excessive original song catalogue and I'm constantly recording new material when I'm not building solar farms, trying to play golf or tennis or taking care of my new twin girls.


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