Jul 122009
 

From THE CATE BROTHERS

Written by Earl Cate, Ernie Cate & Steve Cropper

Twin brothers Earl and Ernie Cate became well known in the Seventies as The Cate Brothers. Through their friendship with drummer Levon Helm of The Band, these two talented singer/songwriters were offered a contract with Asylum Records that lead to their 1975 debut album, “The Cate Brothers.”

Produced by the legendary Steve Cropper of Booker T. & The MG’s fame, their self-titled effort is a delicious blend of rock and soul with a jazzy flavor. Cropper also played guitar on the album and brought along Donald “Duck” Dunn, Timothy B. Schmit, Helm, Nigel Olsson and session aces like Ed Greene, Bob Glaub, Leland Sklar and up’n’coming David Foster.

Foster played on six tracks of “The Cate Brothers” showcasing his talent on fender, organ and clavinet. He appeared on the song “Union Man” that became a huge hit single, reaching #24 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It was one of the first big hits for Foster as a session player.

“Union Man” was clearly more sophisticated than the average pop hits of those days with smart rhythm changes and superior playing like Foster’s impressive solo on clavinet. “The Cate Brothers” included other good songs like the ballad “Always Waiting” and the funky/disco “I Just Wanna Sing.”

The good success of this record lead to the 1976 release of The Cate Brothers sophomore album, “In One Eye And Out The Other.” It was again produced by Cropper and presented the same mix of pop/rock and soul with jazzy playing. Foster again was on board playing keyboards on several tracks. Recently, both these fine albums were reissued on CD by the Wounded Bird label.


Listen

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Lead & Background Vocals: Bill Champlin

Lead Vocals & Electric Piano: Ernie Cate
Lead Guitar: Earl Cate
Guitar: Steve Cropper
Clavinet: David Foster
Bass: Scott Edwards
Drums: Ed Greene
Percussion: Gary Coleman

Produced by Steve Cropper


Lyrics

Well, it’s six a.m.
I’m out on the job
Working like a fool
For my pay

A big man walks by
With a smile
Says you got to go
On strike today

Hey, hey, Mr. union man
How am I gonna pay my dues
Or the landlord or the doctor
How am I getting new shoes

Well, I know I need
To help to get that raise
There’s one thing I don’t like

Tell me how can I
Feed my hungry family
I you say I’m going on strike

Hey, hey, Mr. union man
How am I gonna pay my dues
Owe more money than I can pay
Looks like I’m bound to lose

Well, I don’t see how
I’m going to get ahead
Seem like there ain’t no way

Well, said don’t worry
Cause I understand
Won’t you try to
See things my way

Hey, hey, Mr. union man
Thank you for the helping hand
Hey, hey, Mr. union man
So glad you understand

Hey, hey, Mr. union man
So glad that you understand

Hey, hey, Mr. union man
Thank you for the helping hand
Hey, hey, Mr. union man
So glad that you understand