No Such Thing as Luck

**Warning**  Huge guitar solo!  Today’s tune is about how sometimes true love seems more like fate than luck.

“It’s possible, that I knew you in another life, we were like old friends and lovers at first sight”

This one was written and partially recorded in Asheville then completed at my studio in Atlanta and on a solar farm in Statesboro, Georgia.

The guitar solo is another exercise in simplicity and like Billy Talbot said about Neil Young’s lead guitar one time, it’s only “big notes”.  I try to use space in a guitar solo as much as I play notes.  I guess I’m getting old and don’t want to use acrobatics anymore (that takes too much practice).

Thanks for listening!

Click to listen
Click to listen

moz twins

Life’s a Love Song on iTunes

The City Tonight

Today’s song is about the snow silencing the city and walking around falling in love while taking in the stillness of it all.  Written in Asheville but it is perfect for Atlanta.  Because when it snows here, everything shuts down (unlike NC).

I’m especially proud of my drum part on this one.  I’m not considered a “drummer” anymore (since 9th grade), so I’ll take any bright spots I can get.     Thanks for listening!

IMG_4643

Buy Life’s a Love Song here

Listen on iTunes here

This Might Tickle Just a Little

The eleventh song from “Life’s a Love Song” is a funky blues number with funny lyrics.  “This ain’t no ranch in Cukamonga, no time to reheat your chimichanga.   Just a redneck samba, I’m a little country and sometime’s it shows”.

Randomly enough the second verse is about Columbus, Georgia even though I wrote this a few years ago.  Since then I’ve worked and stayed in Columbus the equivalent of about six months.  It’s a nice city with a cool river running through the down town.   And it has a fantastic tennis facility that I frequent often when I’m there.

Anyway, I’m playing all the instruments on this with John Kell adding the sax embellishments.   I recorded it in Asheville and on the road in Statesboro, Georgia while building a megawatt solar project.    Mastered by Ricky Rodriguez at Bomb House Recording.

The pic below is an article written about my old band, Parakeet Nelson for the Columbus paper back in the day.  We used to have a regular gig there and also played the historic Bradley Theatre one time.   The header pic is of my dogs in Columbus after getting filthy on the solar site that day.

Columbus,-Ga-Magazine-Artic

LALS-Cvr
Click to listen to entire album

Timeless Times Like These

Song 10 has my favorite musical passage on the album.  This is simple acoustic number with lead guitar, strings and of course french horn.  It’s about that perfect time to let your loved one know how you feel and being in the moment during those special times in life.

Even though the guitar work is in my usual ultra-simple style, for some reason it seems to remind me of Nels Kline’s work with Wilco.  When it hits the solo after the second chorus is the part that is my favorite part of all of “Life’s a Love Song”.  It goes to show you don’t have to always be ripping guitar solos.  Sometime’s space is the best note you can play.  Thanks for listening!

Click here to listen to  or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen to or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen on iTunes
Click here to listen on iTunes

Anniversary Song

I wrote this on my anniversary a few years ago and luckily it turned out to be one of Adair’s favorite songs! What seemed to be a quick and simple little song turned out to have some legs. You gotta love it when that happens.

I’m playing all the instruments except for John Kell’s sax, which gives it a bit of a Van Morrison feel.  Adair’s singing backing vocals with Rob Sankey, John Kell and me.  The song also features Ringo, my scruffy little dog, singing along to my harmonica at the end of the solo. Listen closely to see if you can hear it.
Thanks for listening!

Ringo with Mozart in the background
Ringo with Mozart in the background
View all Chris Cates albums on iTunes here.
View all Chris Cates albums on iTunes here.

Crazy or Crazy in Love

“Are you crazy, crazy, crazy in love or are you just crazy?” #8 changes styles again and picks the pace back up with a little southern rock guitar thrown in.

I finished this song in a job trailer in Nashville, Georgia (wishing I was in Nashville, TN) while building a six acre, one megawatt solar farm.  I put some pics of the job trailer below to show how hardcore it was.  Usually I’ll get a pretty nice one, but when you are in an extreme rural area, sometimes you gotta take what they give you.  Recording in this thing at night in the middle of nowhere can actually get a little scary, especially when it’s raining and you’re not sure your truck can make it down the half mile mud pit between you and the highway.   Needless to say, I made it out (with this song in tow).

I also figured I’d put another pic of Joy since the baby pics seem to increase my blog traffic times three.   Thanks for listening!

Click here to listen on iTunes
Click here to listen on iTunes

September Flies

Who’s ready for some smooth easy listening? This song sounds like wearing a velvet coat and having cocktail.  Thanks to John Kell’s sax, the bass line and my meandering guitar, we were really able to create a certain vibe.  Kind of a Burt Bacharach meets James Taylor’s ‘JT’ album kind of feel.

The words are about thinking back to a special September night a long time ago.

“It was great, it was tragic, a slight of hand mixed magic, we reached out but we couldn’t grab it, now it’s back and then gone again”

Featuring me on drums, bass, guitar, synths, strings and vocals and John Kell on sax.

Mastered by Bomb House Recording in Morganton, NC.  #bombhouserecording.

Mozart in the studio
Mozart listening to mixes in the studio late at night
Click here to listen to  or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen to or buy the entire album.

The Sweetest Thing

The sixth song is why I love making albums.  Since an album is a complete entity in itself, there’s no need to feel compelled to pack it with as many “singles” as possible.  Albums are all about flow and feeling and that’s what the “The Sweetest Thing” is all about.  This one is a “glue” song keeping the vibe going long enough to hit you with the next song (September Flies)  and also to hit you with some huge french horn, accordion and tenor sax.  Total rock n roll stuff.

The lyrics are about finding the inspiration to write a love song that does justice to the actual feeling of being in love.  I love the second verse:

“It’s the bugs and the bees and the birds up in the trees,  the fish out in the sea,  lovely melodies

The joy when you sing softly along with me,   It’s the sweetest thing,  the sweetest thing”

I put a pic of Joy up yesterday, so I figured I put one up of Coral today.  Even though the word Joy was also in this song’s lyrics.  I actually have a song called “Coral Cove” from the old days (my ‘Summer’ album from college).  Maybe I need to break that one back out.  I digress.    Thanks for listening!

Click here to listen to  or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen to or buy the entire album.

The Square Root of Joy

This one has been my favorite song of mine for a few years now.  I love the four on the floor bass drum and of the course major seventh chords that I have a proclivity for using.   This happens to be one of my better drum performances too, I’m not a polished drummer these days so I’ll take any bright spots I can get.

The words are about change and looking ahead.  I wrote this one when we were just starting to make a move.  We were living in Asheville spinning our wheels and knew we had to make an upward move.   Atlanta was not yet a sure thing, we were exploring all of our options (I of course wanted to move to Las Vegas which is not a practical family decision).

“What will we be doing in August and September,  will we look back to this moment right now and remember”.

This song also has my favorite line I’ve written:

“The square root of Joy is Love, divided by two and it’s us, geometrically in perfect touch, we fit together like a glove”.

The song used to be called ‘Geometrically in Perfect Touch’ but since we had our twins and named one Joy, I had to change the name of the song to give her some props.

Joy, showing some metal
Joy, showing some metal
Click here to listen to  or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen to or buy the entire album.

Silly Things

The third song on “Life’s a Love Song” is one I’ve been trying to get right for a few years.  It’s been a staple at my shows since I wrote it but it was hard to fully embrace the quirky-ness in a recording.  The classical guitar gives it it’s flavor and like a lot of the songs on this album, the backing vocals really tie it together.

The lyrics are about how life can really get in the way of what matters unless you stay conscious and connected with your loved ones (something I’m not always good at unfortunately).

“And don’t you know, we’re constantly on the go, running from one place to and fro, or talking on the phone, that’s why I don’t let you know enough how much it is I love you”.

The picture below is from the day I recorded the vocals.  It was a complete rain out at the job site and I had sent everyone home.  However, I was stuck there waiting on a truck to come in.  So why not be productive!   #songoftheday

adadda

Click here to listen to  or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen to  the entire album.

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 firs 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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