Jeff Bates signs new record deal
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
– Jeff Bates, who had a top 20 hit in 2003 with "The Love Song," signed with the Black River Music Group, he announced Tuesday. Working with producer and Black River's label chief, Jimmy Nichols, Bates expects to have a new album out in early March 2008.
Co-producers for the project are Kenny Beard and Mickey Jack Cones. Beard produced Bates's previous two albums.
Bates initially signed to RCA Records in 2002, putting out "Rainbow Man" (2003) and "Leave The Light On" (2006). He had seven singles chart - "The Love Song," "Rainbow Man," "I Wanna Make You Cry," "Long Slow Kisses," "Good People," "No Shame" and "One Second Chance."
Nichols commented, "I think Jeff gives country fans everything they want in an artist. He's a traditionalist who respects country's roots, and he's hip enough for younger fans to appreciate as well. He's a gifted singer who knows how to interpret a song, and he puts on an amazing stage show. Black River Music Group is enormously proud and excited to have him on our roster."
Bates said, "All an artist really wants to do is share his voice and vision with the world. Black River sees my music the same way I do. I think we're on the verge of some great things."
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CD reviews for Jeff Bates
In this time of faux outlaws, Jeff Bates is a refreshing real deal. His back story reads like a Johnny Cash song - abandoned as a baby, raised by sharecroppers, Bates has endured three marriages, a drug habit and some time in jail for grand larceny. But that's nothing compared to the crime against esthetics that his art director is guilty of - picking a CD cover photo that's a dead ringer for Garth Brooks' ill-fated alter ego Chris Gaines.
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Leave the Light On
David Allan Coe just might think Jeff Bates' second CD is the perfect country and western al-bum, since he's got songs about Mama ("Mama Was a Lot Like Jesus") and prison ("That'll Get You Ten") and prisoners who want to drive trucks ("One Second Chance.") It's true Bates doesn't have much to say about trains or getting drunk, but maybe the fact that he's actually been behind bars will give him enough outlaw extra credit to make up for that lapse.
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Jeff Bates has a heck of a story - given up for adoption, he grew up in Mississippi, worked on an oil rig and as a carpenter, and even spent time in jail on drug charges before getting his first cuts as a songwriter and, eventually, his own record deal - but more importantly, he has a heck of a voice. With his deep, powerful baritone, he's an aural dead ringer for Conway Twitty, and the singer isn't afraid to exploit the resemblance - not, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, that there's anything wrong with that. »»»
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