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The Cate Brothers: Play by the Rules

[cover art]

April 2004 release from the great Cate Brothers, with a cover of The Band's "The Shape I'm In." The Cates have toured and recorded with Levon Helm since the '60s and became part of The Band's line-up during the '80s reunion tour.

I guess you can teach an old blue-eyed soul dog new tricks. The Cate Brothers, who rocketed to fame in 1979 with the rocker "Union Man" and later teamed with Levon Helm in The Band, have been content the past decade touring from their digs in Arkansas and turning out solid if not noteworthy albums every so often. Play by the Rules dislodges the band from that rut. Behind keyboardist Ernie Cates' sweet, sincere vocals, brother Earl's crisp guitar and stellar songwriting and song selections, Play by the Rules is clearly one of the best blue-eyed soul albums released in several years and contends with any soul album of any color of eyes. Teaming with blues rocker Jimmy Thackery was the linchpin of the new album. Thackery, who relocated a few years ago to Arkansas, produced and plays guitar on the CD. His desire to have more of an uptempo feel helped boost the Cate Brothers to a higher level. The highlight, though, is the slow, emotional "This Side of Heaven," which was written by Ernie and Earl after the deaths of Earl's wife, Angela, and longtime bandmate William "Porky" Hill.

--Kevin Sheedy, The Wichita Eagle, May 2004


  1. She Don't Play by the Rules (Cate/E.Egan/Flett)
  2. Let's Start All Over Again (Cate/Cate)
  3. Out on a Limb (Cate/Cate)
  4. This Side of Heaven (Cate/Cate)
  5. Child of the Wild Blue Yonder (Hiatt)
  6. Think (McCracklin/Robey)
  7. Wake Up Call (Egan/Lewis)
  8. The Shape I'm In (Robertson)
  9. Back to Memphis (Berry)
  10. Why Oh Why (Cate/Cate)
  11. Yield Not to Temptation (Malone)

The Cate Brothers - Play by the Rules - 2004 - Louisiana Red Hot 1160

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