Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I have a new single coming out this week by Pocket Full of Rocks. I wrote it with the lead singer Michael Farren and Tony Wood. I am so excited for people to hear this song. This video is about the process of writing this song. You can download it on iTunes here. Check it out!
Posted by Chad Cates at 3:43 PM
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
My wife Sarah has found so much favor in her job at Belmont. I think it's because she loves to inspire people. She also loves leadership and is not afraid to walk into conflict knowing that something great can come out of resolving it. For several years, she was the staff advisor for the student showcase council and walked closely with them as they planned the showcases throughout the year. A couple of years ago, Belmont allowed her to hire and lead someone in those responsibilities. She has a new employee in that position and is still in the process training and equipping her. Because of this, Sarah has been more directly involved with the students as they prepared for The Best of the Best. A few weeks ago, the student council went to breakfast with Vince Gill at Noshville and the students talked about how selfless he was. He made the statement, "What if we lived in a world where we always put ourselves last?" This quote was directly in line with what my wife has been telling the students. She has kept saying, "This is not about you. This is about honoring someone and it will make your show SO much bigger."
They succeeded in really making the show about Vince. Sarah had hired a former student to do several videos about Vince's life as a musician, as a family man, and as a philanthropist. They were very moving to watch and I teared up a few times. There were also video tributes from Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley. During the tribute, Vince's daughter Jenni played a song and told a story about asking her dad to play at he first grade talent show. The week before, he was asked to play on the Grand Ole Opry for the FIRST time. He turned it down to play for his daughter. It reminds me of a Kyle Mathews song called "The Way We Go About It Matters". His wife, Amy Grant and his friend Rodney Crowell both played a song.
When Vince accepted the Robert E Mulloy Award of Excellence(which were replicas of his and Amy's basketball seats in the Curb Event Center), he kept telling stories that honored other people. Vince is an AMAZING musician but what makes him truly great is much more than his voice and guitar ability. He is so generous with his time and resources. I was a recipient of his generosity in college. I received one of his scholarships and was able to thank him at a reception before the show.
The students who produced the Best of the Best succeeded in making their show SO much bigger by honoring Vince Gill. It was a wonderful evening with so much good music that was filled with true greatness.
Posted by Chad Cates at 11:33 AM
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I played the Bluebird Cafe on Thursday night with some GREAT writers. John Lemonis invited Tony Wood, Dave Clark and myself to play. Dave Clark has had 25 #1's in Christian Music and Tony Wood has had 18 #1's. If your doing the math, that is 43 #1's between them. They have held the Bluebird cafe in such high esteem and it was both their first time to play. I was so honored to be playing with them for their first time there. It was a wonderful evening! Thank you John for the invitation!
Posted by Chad Cates at 2:02 PM
I have written songs professionally for the past 9 years. I try to work really hard and treat it as a job and show up every day. In March, I really started feeling like an empty well and as the month progressed it began to feel overwhelming. I just wasn't enjoying it.
There was a day in March when I began talking about taking some time off. I started asking the people who this would affect(my wife Sarah, my publisher Holly, and several co-writers) what they thought of the idea. To my surprise, everyone resoundingly told me to take time off.
I met with several people that last week in March to wrestle with how to rest well. One of the guys who was really gracious with his time was Jeromy Diebler. We had several days down to write and he so willingly switched gears and helped dream with me about my time off. I'm in a marriage mentoring community group led by Greg Ham. I told our group that I was taking the month off and that I wanted to take a two-day silent retreat to begin my month. Greg had done this in the past and recommended that I meet with a counselor named Al Andrews. I took Al to lunch at Puckett's Grocery in downtown Franklin. I had heard a lot about Al as he is a counselor to many artist's and musicians. Our time together was wonderful and one of the things that he said stood out to me. He said, "I want you to consider finding your Central Park." It's like my spirit smiled when he said that and I nodded for him to continue. "Your life is like the busy-ness of New York City and the planners of the city carved out a huge space in the middle of that city that seemed to communicate rest."
I left for my two day retreat and went to a place called Deer Run. I stayed in Lodge in the Treehouse Suite. The first morning and early afternoon was great. I read, prayed, journaled, hiked, and listened. In the late afternoon, it started being really hard and lonely and I had another day to go! Looking back, I'm so glad I took that retreat...for margin, for rest, for wrestling. I will continue to look back on the things I journaled about. This is one of the entries...
Central Park Metaphor
The City is extremely busy. Tourists, people dressed in suits. Sidewalks packed, walking, waiting at red lights.
The forethought of city planners to carve out a HUGE chunk of the city and make it a place of relaxation and renewal. They could bring machines in and dig up the trees, rocks for climbing, ponds, bridges, places for running and riding bikes. It would have been seemingly easy to build more city blocks of skyscrapers, money-making structures. Instead it seems, they valued margin, space, something green amidst something gray.
Yes, the beauty of NYC is the sum of it's parts but the sum of it's parts includes the vast oasis that is Central Park. The city wouldn't be nearly as magical without it.
You can see the city from a long way off. In the same way, I want to be a sort of City on a Hill. I want to love the Lord and love people well with His love. Living well seemingly means I need to value margin...not just value margin that exists in a Redbox, a racquetball game, or 18 holes but margin that listens, that prays, that memorizes scripture, that takes time to love people in need.
I have one more week of time off. It has been good for my soul. It has been really interesting to see how the Lord has already blessed this time off. I keep hearing good news this month about songs being cut or singled to radio. I'm excited to get back in the room with friends and start creating again. As I have started to schedule May, the temptation is to pack my schedule and start building "skyscrapers"...but I am mindful to leave space...a Central Park for my soul.
Posted by Chad Cates at 1:46 PM