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!
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.
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.
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
Song #2. This one has maximum “feel good” vibes. Simple words about love and transition, originally written when we were living in Asheville and thinking about the big move to the ATL. Needless to say, we made the transition and have never looked back (although I’ll always miss the NC mountains).
The music on this one has about as many counterpoint solos as one can handle (or possibly too many) with me playing multiple guitar, harmonica and piano leads and John Kell getting in some jabs on sax. It’s short but sweet and is one I automatically want to turn up.
It’s got me on drums, guitars, bass, ukulele, harmonica, piano/synths, mandolin and vocals, John Kell on sax/backing vocals and Adair and Rob Sankey on backing vocals.
The pic below is the solar farm in Richland, Georgia that I was building at the time when I did a lot of the finishes to the recording on this one. I actually found and negotiated the land and built most of this particular solar farm from beginning to end.
My new album is finally out!! Song #1. I recorded it partially in Asheville, Atlanta and in the car, job trailer and hotel room while building one megawatt solar farms in South Georgia. Literally, some of these songs were recorded sitting in my car either on the job site or sitting in Hampton Inn parking lots after dark with people walking by wondering what the hell it was I was doing. So, I managed to get the album done and create enough solar energy to power a few small towns.
“Celebrating All Your Wonders” is the first song on “Life’s a Love Song”. It’s got a unique feel and sounds a little different from a lot of my other songs. It could be my choppy drums or just the over all beat. Whatever it is, it always seemed to be people’s favorite so I put it first on the record. I liked the opening line “Kicking a stone down the street, thinking about the next time you’ll be kicking it with me.” It kind of ties in the old school and new school which reflects my style perfectly.
This song features me on drums, guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, John Kell on sax and backing vocals with Adair and Rob Sankey also on backing vocals. Ricky Rodriguez mastered it at Bomb House Studios in Morganton.
Thanks for listening and supporting independent music!!
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.