Tag Archives: solarsongs

Atlanta Plugged In TV Spot

Here’s the spot I did on CBS 46’s Atlanta Plugged In.  I had a great time on set with the host Annalee Penny and crew.

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My Old Soul / Life’s a Love Song

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.

Click here to listen on iTunes Click here to listen on iTunes

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Listen at CDBaby
Listen at CDBaby

Listen to “My Old Soul” on iTunes

Chris Cates – vocals, guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, ukulele, piano, synthesizer and charanga.

John Kell – sax and backing vocals

Chris Singleton – bass on much of My Old Soul

Adair Cates, Chris Cates, John Kell and Rob Sankey – backing vocals

Produced, recorded and mixed by Chris Cates

Mastered by Ricky Rodriquez at Bomb House Recording – Morganton, NC     BombHouseRecording.com

Cover pic for Life’s a Love Song by Derek Clayton (Taken while building Solar Phase II at the Chattanooga International Airport)

Cover pic for My Old Soul by Adair Cates

Let the Rain Come

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.

Click to listen
Click to listen
View all Chris Cates albums on iTunes here.
View all Chris Cates albums on iTunes here.

No Such Thing as Luck

**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).

Thanks for listening!

Click to listen
Click to listen

moz twins

Click here to listen on iTunes

The City Tonight

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!

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Buy Life’s a Love Song here

Listen on iTunes here

This Might Tickle Just a Little

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.

Columbus,-Ga-Magazine-Artic

LALS-Cvr
Click to listen to entire album

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.

Crazy or Crazy in Love

“Are you crazy, crazy, crazy in love or are you just crazy?” #8 changes styles again and picks the pace back up with a little southern rock guitar thrown in.

I finished this song in a job trailer in Nashville, Georgia (wishing I was in Nashville, TN) while building a six acre, one megawatt solar farm.  I put some pics of the job trailer below to show how hardcore it was.  Usually I’ll get a pretty nice one, but when you are in an extreme rural area, sometimes you gotta take what they give you.  Recording in this thing at night in the middle of nowhere can actually get a little scary, especially when it’s raining and you’re not sure your truck can make it down the half mile mud pit between you and the highway.   Needless to say, I made it out (with this song in tow).

I also figured I’d put another pic of Joy since the baby pics seem to increase my blog traffic times three.   Thanks for listening!

Click here to listen on iTunes
Click here to listen on iTunes

September Flies

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.

Mozart in the studio
Mozart listening to mixes in the studio late at night
Click here to listen to  or buy the entire album.
Click here to listen to or buy the entire album.

The Sweetest Thing

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!

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