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.
This was the first song I ever wrote with open chords on the guitar and it was probably my most popular song (at least with the ladies) in high school. That is until I wrote “Flannel Dreams” a year or so later. After listening back and mastering this album, this song seems so out of place with all the other hard driving funky numbers we played. That’s been the story of my career, I love to play ballads like this but I equally love to rock and get funky.
The video was recorded by Joe Long at Comma in Morganton, NC around February in 1990 and is highlighted by Jason Peeler hunched over the keys making it happen (he was a guitar player at that point before switching to bass and then ultimately landing on drums on which he still performs with me to this day). Greg Beaver is always great on bass and of course Jeramy Lamanno (aka Hiro Noodles) is a legend in his own right. I’m still learning to play guitar and sing at this point so bear with me.
More teenage rock from my high school band the Seeing Eye Band. Featuring Greg Beaver, Jeramy Lamanno, Jason Peeler (who still plays with me today) and myself. This line up had only been together a few months when this was filmed after we all decided to switch instruments. I made the jump from drums to guitar a few months earlier which is why my guitar solos get a little testy to say the least.
The energetic closer to the Seeing Eye Band album. I name drop Fred Rumfelt, the engineer and owner of the studio where we recorded the album in beautiful Marion, NC and the Sunn PA that we were always so proud of because we bought it with gig money. Fred was a kind man and a heck of a gospel engineer. He also had no problems with our teenage rock. The album was recorded on a 1 inch eight track and mastered down to cassette.
The ridiculous intro to this song always makes me laugh. Thanks for listening!
A vid of the Seeing Eye Band performing live at Comma in Morganton, NC. I had just begun playing guitar at this point about four months before. Long enough to write a bunch of funky songs and attempt to play meandering guitar solos.
Here’s another deep cut from the Seeing Eye Band – Psychedelic School Bus. We were so young and naive about recording that we did the entire album in one take with basically just a few backing vocal overdubs. Messing up never even entered our mind luckily. Ah, to be young again.
I am super excited to announce the worldwide release of our Jr. high/high school band’s first studio album, Seeing Eye Band – Psychedelic School Bus. Featuring Oak Hill Jr. high alumni, Greg Beaver, Jeramy Lamanno, Jason Peeler and myself, we were a pretty tight and funky original band even if I had only been playing guitar for about six months.
The Seeing Eye band was the third incarnation of this line up. We originally started out as the heavy metal band Armageddon with additional members, John Dockery and Jason Spake (and the rest of us playing completely different instruments) and then evolved into the Silver Plated Sixshooters. This change happened when I decided to retire from drumming to play guitar after opening for The Past (before they became Copperhead) at the Western Peidmont 4th of July fireworks and witnessing the awesome power of Neil Carswell’s vocals and John Byrd’s guitar. Seeing Darryl Corley pick and sing at Oak Hill was also a big inspiration for me to switch, as well as my burgeoning obsession with Neil Young and Uriah Heep.
What is really awesome is that 26 years later we are all still playing music! That’s a testament the strong music scene that Morganton has.
This album was originally named the Seeing Eye Band Vol. 1, but I have remixed it and changed the order of the songs to reflect our super funky sound and figured after collaborating with my Mealtime Brown colleague, Jeramy Lamanno that Psychedelic School Bus was more fitting for this release.
Psychedelic School Bus was always a crowd favorite. Greg’s bass on it (and the whole album) is awesome and Jeramy’s drums are super tight. Add my affinity for the wah wah pedal and you’ve got yourself a psychedelic freak out.
The album was recorded at Fred Rumfelt’s legendary studio in Marion, NC. He was a great man.
Thanks for listening!! More songs to come and there will be a page on this site that will have all the songs together in a few days. The album is available on iTunes, amazon etc., although cdbaby.com is our preferred site for folks to buy.
About every two months I get a request for this song from folks that remember the Seeing-Eye Band and our first studio release. This song was our signature song for years. It’s me on guitar and vocals, Jason Peeler on guitar, Greg Beaver on bass and Jeramy Lamanno on drums. Recorded live in Fred Rumfelt’s studio in Marion, NC (fall of ’91?). I had literally been playing guitar for about two months, but I knew how to use the wah wah pedal! My early attempts at vocals are funny too.
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.