Category Archives: Acoustic / Singer Songwriter

Chris Cates songs that are either acoustically oriented or singer / songwriter oriented.

Skyscrapers – #6 from My Old Soul

Let’s kick the weekend off with a jam!  Pump this one up and sing it loud.

“Skyscrapers” is inspired by the #EckhartTolle book A New Earth, which I’ve read (to my newborn kids) or listened to at least five times.  The music is inspired by #ManuChao, another favorite who really doesn’t release enough music these days.

I’m on all the instruments except for the killer bass by Chris Singleton.  There’s also some cool backing vocals from Kerry Jones, Jeramy Lamanno, John Kell and Adair Cates.

Thanks for listening!

my-old-soul-cover
Click to hear entire album.


Click here to listen on iTunes
 Also available on Spotify, Tidal and all other online retailers.

My Old Soul – Track #5

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“It’s my old soul, that keeps me on the edge of chaos and control, part spirit part human part animal”.

The title track which features some nice backing vocals from Adair, Jeramy Lamanno, Kerry Jones and John Kell (who also contributes to the mellow instrumental interlude).  Thanks for listening!

my-old-soul-cover
Click to hear entire album.


Click here to listen on iTunes
Also available on Spotify.

Cool Air Attitude – Song #4 from My Old Soul

I’m back posting songs from My Old Soul.  I took a brief hiatus to respect the memory of a good friend.

Anyways, I should have posted this one last week as we were experiencing our final cold spell of the year.  This is one of my favorites to play at home on acoustic.  It’s simple but has a fun chorus for sing a longs.  The middle instrumental section is especially #burtbacharach – esque with John Kell intertwining sax with my lead guitar theme.

Thanks for listening!

my-old-soul-cover
Click to hear entire album.


Click here to listen on iTunes

Not My First Go Round – Song #2

This song is about keeping it going no matter how many mistakes you make along the way.

“Sometimes I get closer, sometimes I miss it all

Sometimes I stay standing, sometimes I slip and fall

It’s not my first go round and it probably won’t be my last”

Thanks for listening!

my-old-soul-cover
Listen to entire album here

Click here to listen on iTunes

 

The Square Root of Joy

“The square root of Joy is love. Divided by two and it’s us. Geometrically in perfect touch. We fit together like a glove.”

This song used to be called “Geometrically in Perfect Touch” but I had to change the name in tribute to my one and only Joy Kincaid Cates.  I do have a song called “Coral Cove” might I add, that can represent Coral.

This song was written when Adair and I were trying to figure out whether we should move out of Asheville to further our careers. “What will we be doing in August and September?”.   Needless to say, we decided to move to Atlanta and everything else is history.  It’s hard to believe it’s been almost six years!

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This song is available on iTunes, spotify, amazon etc. is part of my “Life’s a Love Song album.Life's a Love Song Cover

Winter’s Coming Back Again

I wrote this song in my dorm room at Appalachian as I was watching the leaves turn and start to fall. Even though I recorded this version 18 years later, it still brings back the feeling of watching the shadows roll across the dorm room while I played guitar and contemplated life as only a teenager could.

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.

Moonlight Madness

Easily one of the most powerful and emotional songs I’ve ever recorded, the fourth song on the album is a co-write with my good friend Jefferson Taffet (check out his albums by searching Lionz).    We’ve collaborated before on a song called “Give it Up” available on the Stranger Things Have Happened CD.

He originally recorded this song in my studio in Athens about fifteen years ago and I always loved it.   Even though it’s a drastic departure from the rest of the album, I felt compelled to get it out into the world.

Moonlight Madness is just me on guitar, vocals, strings and my signature french horn.   I tried to keep it as stark and simple as possible to highlight the love and desperation of the great lyrics.

“Will you hold me up, and never let me slump, give me two good shoes, we’ve got some walking to do”

Below is a picture of the skyline and moon at Atlantic Station where I recorded it.

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

Winter’s Coming Back Again

Made it back to the ATL in one piece and figured I’d post another song to celebrate.  I’m a little late on the timing of this one but I figured it would set the mood for the evening, looking out at the snow wherever you are.   I wrote a song similar to this in Cone dorm at App. State back in the day and this is my re-imagined version where I tried to recapture that melancholy feeling of college life and it’s ever  changing challenges. Little did I know real life after college only proves to be way more challenging.  But it can be fun if you let it.   Enjoy the snow!!