I’m excited to announce my new Chris Cates album “Complicated Artist Type”. It features 14 brand new songs I wrote in Ireland, Las Vegas and at my studio in Atlanta.
It’s a bit different than most of my albums in that the instrumentation is more sparse, just utilizing a single acoustic (or 12 string), one super distorted electric guitar, sometimes swapping bass for cello and very minimalist drums and beats. And of course, my signature harmonica and John Kell’s sax.
It creates the mood around the mental and emotional struggles of dealing with life relationships and the want and need to be constantly creating art.
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.
My new album is finally complete and out today!! It took a while to record and finish and there were some casualties along the way but now it’s here! “My Old Soul” mixes R&B elements with synthesizers, sax and guitars and has a general concept of loose spirituality and consciousness. I’m playing guitar, keys, drums, harmonica etc. with Chris Singleton playing bass on most of the album and John Kell on Sax. Adair Cates, Jeramy Lamanno, Kerry Jones and John Kell sing back ups.
“What a Beautiful Feeling” is the first song and it gets the good vibes going right away. I tried to show a little motown influence on it while throwing in a big #TreyAnastasio like guitar solo to bring it home. Thanks for listening! #newmusic #chriscates #myoldsoul
Happy New Year! Let’s start the year of with a song about celebrating with friends and reflecting on the past year. 2015 was a good one for me musically and otherwise. I enjoyed my first year with Joy and Coral, my new twins, developed a bunch of solar, managed to release 5 albums and 5 singles and to have a little bit of fun along the way.
Thanks for another great year. Here’s another round for you.
Today marks the beginning of several re-issues from my long musical history. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I released ‘Getaway Plans’ on the eve of my departure from Athens, Georgia. In celebration of it’s ten year anniversary, I have remastered and re-imagined the album, changing the song order and adding four new songs that were recorded during the same era.
The album features the fantastic Parakeet Nelson touring band of 2001 – 2004 featuring John Wayne Tuggle, Dwayne Wallace, Dave Brockway and John Kell with special guest Andrej Kurti tearing it up on violin on several songs. The infamous Mike Lowdermilk also makes an appearance on a few of the new added songs.
Umbrella is one of my most enduring songs about turning things around, staying positive and being there for each other. I have sung it at many charity and spiritual events, not to mention many bars too for that matter. Ha! Thanks for listening!
I’ve made a lot of albums in my life but none of them compare in popularity to my two golf themed albums. I moved to Asheville in 2004 and quickly became addicted to golf the day I decided to max out my credit card to join the old Holiday Inn Sunspree golf course. My first round on the course I shot 94, in five months of playing there every day I shot a 64 there (it was a short par 68). That shows how much I was practicing and playing (some would say to the neglect of my music, business and relationships).
Anyway, one day we were playing that very course when my friend asked me “why don’t you make a golf album?”. I wrote down eight song titles during the round, wrote three songs in line at the DMV the next day and had a full album recorded and on it’s way to manufacturing by the end of the week.
“Triple Bogey with 17 Holes to Play” forever entered me into the golf world and I haven’t looked back since. From promoting the album, I joined a golf radio show (speakingofgolf.com) for two years, performed at the Carolina Golf Hall of Fame and at many country clubs around the US, met many of my golf idols and played a ridiculous amount of free golf. Pretty good for an album I wrote and recorded in five days!
I finally got around to making my follow-up to Triple Bogey a year ago. I had a lot of golf songs that I hadn’t released and ideas for new ones so I had to get them out into the fairways of life. This album is more acoustic than the rocking full band ‘Triple Bogey’ but the lyrics are much more dense.
There are some good story songs and of course a few kooky novelty songs as well.
And now I have new golf songs that need to be released like a golf ball in a fried egg lie, but alas, I’m working on a few other albums at the moment so sadly, it may be a while before they fade hook into the world we love. Stay tuned and hit ’em straight!
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.
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
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.