All posts by Chris Cates

Lifelong prolific writer, producer, musician and sportsman. This site constantly showcases Chris Cates original songs both new and old.

Jan 31st “Snowy Mix of Memories”

I have made it a month!  31 songs in 31 days.   It’s interesting to see the trends I’ve had.

I wrote songs in 17 different major and minor keys

9 out of 31 of the songs were slow.   In the first few weeks I wrote a bunch of slow songs before getting into dance mode in the late part of the month.

There’s three or four stinkers in there I’ll admit, but I look at each song at least as a learning experience.

There’s actually about 8 or 9 really good ones which is encouraging.  “Snow Day”, “Sunday Afternoon Blues”, “Scratches in the Woodgrain”, “Glass Pack Mufflers & Overhead Cams” (super huge), “Heavy Metal Nice Guy”, “Hot Cold & Out of Control”, “Country Boy Funk in the City” are some of the best.

Although my personal favorite is still “The Sweetest Thing is Everything”.  What can I say, I love those french horns.

“Snowy Mix of Memories” is a reflection on January and trying to make time move a little slower.

Thanks for listening, 11 months to go!!!!

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Jan 30th “Country Boy Funk in the City”

I took it back to that old school slow funk jam on this one.   I am absolutely loving playing drums every day, even though it’s just for five minutes.   My drum parts are finally getting done in one take.  They’re not perfect, but I can’t really be perfect in my recordings for this format;  because I have to squeeze the song in each day on top all of my normal life.

I’m a country boy but I love the big city vibe.  Places like Vegas, or Chicago or New York are great just because there is lots of people and energy.  And house music.  A good beat keeps everybody happy and it’s not used in that way enough.  I guess that’s what “Country Boy Funk in the City” is about.

I’m also kind of giving my own song “Country Funk” a shout out.   If you haven’t heard “Country Funk” (featuring my old friend P-Noid)  Search:  Parakeet Nelson “Risky Biscuits” and give it a spin.  It’s also pretty funky.

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Jan 29 “Driving in Two Directions”

Over a foot of nice fluffy snow and a whole weekend to be snowed in.  It’s nice to look out of the studio window and see it hanging from all of the trees outside.  And I think it gave me a good photo to use as the album cover for January’s songs.

I will be putting out a cd every month with all of the songs.  Look for the first one in about three weeks.  I can’t believe it’s been 29 days already.

Anyway I wrote and recorded music to four songs today and so far have managed to put words to just this one.I’m also doing the guitar parts for our “Follow the Feeling” album too, so I’ve been switching back in forth between the two.

“Driving in two Directions” is kind of an analogy comparing driving to healthy relationships.  The character in the song seems to always drive but never actually get there.  I coaxed Adair into playing the keyboard parts on this one too.         Thanks for listening!!

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Jan 28 “Lookin’ Fine All the Time”

Just getting yesterday’s song up even though I wrote it today.  The song I wrote yesterday is still in the computer but I haven’t been compelled to listen to it, so it must not be mind blowing.

This one’s a jazzy soul piece about “how I find you look so fine”.   I’m loving my snare drum sound.  Adair had fun lending some synth solos and backing vocals.

I’m still going with my first thought best thought thing, so it’s always interesting to see what the subject leads to when I start writing the song.

Thanks to  Jared Callahan for lending me a great vintage amp for the weekend.

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Jan 27 “Hot, Cold & Out of Control”

I can’t believe this is what came out today after an intense work day and the two hour commute.   I even thought I was getting the flu this afternoon and by the time I sat down in front of the computer to start  the song for the day I was not feeling real energetic.

I resisted the urge to go lay down which may have been for the night and grabbed the bass and started the song.  I still don’t have my amp so I’m having to do things a little differently, luckily I like different.  Now I’m feeling better but I am definitely ready for bed and was hoping to have come back out to the studio to finish the vocals way earlier.

I did manage to recruit Adair, PJ’s, Snuggie and all to come lend me some old school motown sounding backing vocals.

I’ve really been digging the dance stuff I’ve been doing so I continued that trend.

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Jan 26 “Chalk it Up to Acting Like a Fool”

This song is starting to grow on me a bit.    It’s about remembering old times of acting crazy growing up.

Maybe recycling in my old Oak Hill Bulldog territory brought this one out of me today.  Congratulations to my classmate Leon Johnson for his Burke County Hall of Fame honors in a few weeks.  He killed it at Carolina and was a great pro too.   With the Jets was my favorite part of his NFL career.

Anyway, “Chalk it Up to Acting Like a Fool” can be put into any adolescent context you want (or any adult for that matter).  It’s about how we always thought we were indestructible too, which led to lots of air time for our respective vehicles and landings that as long as you kept a firm grip on the wheel, you could land it with minimal damage to adjacent shrubbery.    Frank Zappa cassette intact.       Thanks for listening!!

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Jan 25 “My Old Soul”

I must be in a philosophical mood today or something.   I think this is two in a row that I’m waxing a little bit.

I’m told a lot that I have an old soul.  This is probably because not a lot surprises me and I’m the laid back go with the flow type.    I’ve never done a past life transgression yet, but I’ve heard awesome stories from friends who’ve done it.

Basically, the take away from this song is, not to listen to what society tells you about your body, you can feel as old or as young as you want to.  It’s up to you.

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Jan 24 “Revelation of Education Dedication”

I’m catching back up today after being a song behind for about a week.  I’ve got another one almost ready to go that I’ll finish a little later today.

My amp is still in the shop so not much electric guitar in the near future.  Which is fine for now.  After all I have another 341 songs to write for this blog.

“Revelation of Education Dedication” is about enjoying the journey even when you’re upgrading yourself.  It actually sounds a little like “Give it More Time” a song off of the upcoming Chris Cates & the Master Plan album.

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Jan 23 “Heavy Metal Nice Guy”

Well back to the heavy metal comedy songs again I guess.  As soon as I heard this riff with the drums and the synth I thought “I try to be a gangsta but I’m a heavy metal nice guy”.

That’s how it was born.  I speak from experience on this one as well.  I used to be a heavy metal guy through my teens and even had hair down to my waist for a while.  However, my tastes for music have always been all over the place.  Which led me to be a rap producer in Athens, Georgia for about five years.

Read the lyrics @ chriscates.com/jan23.html

Jan 22 “Dark Lit Violet Groove”

Well I kept the funk going last night and this morning with this one.   I really love this kind of deep trancy funk groove.

I also love playing way to notey stuff on the bass.  What can I say I’m a guitar player.

This song is basically a ‘club’ song pretty much.  No huge world issues solved here, but they probably could be if everyone would get down to a funky beat like this every once in a while.

Read the lyrics @ chriscates.com/jan22.html