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I think a great song should hit you emotionally first, and then make you think, he says. Every singer that I've respected and admired hit me from the emotional side, and made me feel something. These are the thoughts of Jeff Bates (born September 19, 1963 in Bunker Hill, Mississippi) is an American country music singer-songwriter.
In 2003, Bates made his debut on the American country music scene with his single The Love Song, which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. The single was followed by the release of his debut album Rainbow Man. To date, Bates has recorded two studio albums on RCA, and has charted seven songs on the U.S. country singles charts.
Bates has been active in his works of compassion, collecting for organizations such as Toys For Tots, St. Judes and others. In 2005 a concert in Hattiesburg, Mississippi raised $25,000 for Hurricane Katrina relief in his home area.
My goal is to make music that matters on a personal level to people, he says. Connect with 'em, touch 'em, make 'em laugh, make 'em cry, make 'em feeland to be here for a long time.
Jeff Bates' sophomore album, Leave the Light On, is really about: not hiding. Bates' sensuously seductive, passionate second album which was a suite of songs about the good things that happen when human beings open up to each other, and see one another for whom they truly are.
He has taken all the vital, sometimes overwhelming give-and-take he's enjoyed with that loyal audience over the past several years and poured it into Leave the Light On. For his new album, Bates wrote and discovered songs that bypass all artifice and head straight for the emotional core.
Bates developed his distinctive vocal tones by singing in church and at school talent shows. By 17, he was singing in local honky-tonks, where his astonishing voice and dogged work ethic helped him work his way up through the local circuit and finally to Nashville.
The essential message, he says, is simple. Love each other, he urges. Be yourself, no matter what anybody thinks. Don't try to be what you think somebody wants you to be. In other words, leave the light on. It's an idea that resonates on a deeply intimate level, which is precisely the level where Jeff Bates likes to live, work and sing.