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Jeff Bates - Jeff Bates 
By: Jolene Downs, CSO Contributing Journalist  
4/7/08  

Jeff Bates has been around for a few years and has
established himself as a very credible country music artist. After parting ways with RCA after two albums and seven charted singles, Bates has signed with Black River Music Group as their Flagship Artist. While between labels, he spent his time balancing a heavy touring schedule with writing music. He collaborated with friends to write 10 of the 13 songs on the just released self-titled album. With the freedom to
choose the music and style, Bates chose a slightly
different direction on this project and I think it will be a real winner for him. His current single is "Don't Hate Me For Loving You." It has an upbeat tune but sad lyrics. She expects him to let her go and forget about her, but he just can't do it.

The first track, "I Can't Have Nothing Nice," is about
working really hard for a dream only to have it taken away in the blink of an eye. In the song "I'm Only Here  For One Thing," he tells her that he is only on earth for one thing and that is to love her and hold her body and soul. Slow songs aren't always my first choice, but this one is definitely one of my favorites on the album because of the lyrics. "My Wave" is a reflective song about life and taking time to appreciate the gifts you are given and it also delivers a very strong message. 

My favorite song on the album is probably "Some Days," although picking a favorite is really hard with all the great songs there are to choose from. This particular one is upbeat and encourages you to focus on the positive things in life. Some days may be bad, but there are just as many good days if you think on a positive level. Basically he says if you have your health and family, "All is good in the hillbilly hood." How true that is and how quick some people forget that while concentrating on a material level. 

The mix of fun and serious, upbeat to ballad, throughout the album is sure to keep the interest of the listener. Bates is a great combination of traditional and contemporary. He offers enough traditional sound to catch the attention of those fans while keeping the lyrics contemporary enough to please the other side as well. While he has his own unique sound, he first hooked me with his uncanny vocal resemblance to the late Conway Twitty. It made me take a second look at his music and I really liked what I heard. With this album, he's showing a more serious side to his music and I really like it. Bates is being allowed the creative license to express himself on a deeper level and offer fans a little more of who he really is. I think this album will move him into a whole new level in the playing field. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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