This is the best capture I’ve ever filmed. Joy and Coral in the bath and cracking each other up for the first time. This already went semi-viral on Facebook, so I figured I’d put it on youtube and see what happens.
When you’re a songwriter, life’s a love song. I realized that when I was 13 years old and I’ve been living it ever since. These albums prove that a love song can come in many packages and so can an age old soul. Song to song, just like life, you never know what’s coming next.
I started these albums in Asheville, NC and finished them in my studio in Atlanta. Also, a good portion was recorded after hours while building three different solar farms on the road in south Georgia. The workers would go home and I would start recording, editing or mixing in my car, job trailer or in the parking lot or hotel room of the Hampton Inn. (Hilton Honors points!! holla)
No matter what the song, “Life’s a Love Song” is as heartfelt and emotional as anything I’ve ever done and it’s very musical with lots of guitar, sax and harmonica solos to keep things poppin’.
“My Old Soul”, my latest album is very upbeat and positive with lots of synths mixing with the guitar, sax, harmonica and orchestral embellishments. The lyrical themes are of letting go of the past and moving forward with positive instincts.
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!
It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since Chris Singleton and I recorded this in my studio in Asheville. A lot has changed since then but he’s still my best bud and favorite musical collaborator.
“Dead Man’s Suit” is the title track from our album of the same name and has always been one of our favorites to play because it has a fun bass line and harmonica part. You gotta love the key of F# major. Thanks for watching!
This is it, the last song on the album! Thanks to everybody that has listened these last few weeks as I’ve been posting all 15 songs. If you feel so inclined and feel like supporting independent music, pick up a physical copy at CDBaby or the mp3 album at iTunes.
It’s amazing that I’ve been an independent musician for over 25 years. It’s been fun a lot of the times, a miserable struggle some of the time and completely rewarding most of the time. I’ve made it this long so I guess I’m going to keep on, keeping on. 2015 should be a very productive year for me. I’m almost finished with my instrumental ‘baby music’ album called “Music for Newborns” and I’ve got a ultra-funky classic dance album in the queue called “Super Fantastic”.
“Super Fantastic” will also continue my new collaboration with Ricky Rodriguez and Bomb House Recording, he will now be mixing my music leaving me to solely concentrate on recording. Mixing has always been what holds me up and now I am finally handing over the reigns to a professional.
Okay, “Our Love Will Show the Way” is a quiet spiritual send out to “Life’s a Love Song”. It’s very simple but has a wonderful message. “Our love will show the way, it’s bright enough to light up, even the darkest day”, “Take all you wanna take, what’s mine is yours, things can be replaced, it’s worth the smile on your face”.
This album took a ton of hard work, especially since I was juggling three different major solar farm projects that were all three and a half hours a part. But perseverance pays off and now I’ve got another music snapshot of my life for posterity. I’m blessed to be able to make music and I appreciate all of the continued love and support for my blessing and my curse. It’s hard to be a musician and have to work a “real job”. I struggle with it mightily but you gotta do what you gotta do. One day one of these records will hit the right spot and sell twenty thousand units and I’ll look back and laugh.
This one was a last-minute addition to “Life’s a Love Song” but I am really glad it made the cut. Nothing like bringing the album to a close with an anthem-like finish. Somehow it slipped through the cracks when I was picking songs from my backlog for the album until I randomly heard it playing on my computer one day. I rewrote the verse, added a few instruments and one more large guitar solo, then spent my normal three weeks to mix it.
It’s pretty bad that I’ve written so many songs that I literally don’t remember writing or recording songs I hear from time to time. It’s almost like someone else wrote them. Which is cool I guess. If I’m a fan of my music that makes at least one right? Thanks for listening!! Only one more song from “Life’s a Love Song” to be posted.
**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).
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!
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.
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.