Chris Cauley goes from ‘The Voice’ to ‘My Turn’

By Melissa Ruggieri

Chris Cauley has performed with Tyler Perry, competed on “The Voice” and traveled Europe in the Michael Jackson tribute show, “Man in the Mirror.”

But on Friday, he’ll scale things back and bring his warm, soulful voice to the 40-seat Alpharetta jazz club, The Velvet Note, a show that he is anticipating precisely because of the venue’s dedication to musical purity.

“I’ll still be goofing off and telling stories. I’m going to want interaction. I might even go out into the crowd. I love that setting to prove to people that I will entertain you,” Cauley said during a recent interview at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina near Perimeter Mall.

He’s a dapper fellow, the kind who looks natural in a fedora and, with his wife, Sandra, the current Mrs. Georgia, falls into the Impossibly Good-Looking Couple category.

Cauley, who lives in Alpharetta, became more broadly known two years ago after participating on “Team Adam” – Adam Levine’s group to coach – on “The Voice.” He lost in the battle rounds to Tony Lucca (the “Mickey Mouse Club” veteran came in third), but for Cauley, the experience was always about having fun.

“The producers asked me once (on camera) with this big dramatic pause, ‘So what’s going to happen if you get sent home?’ And I was like, if I get sent home, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve been doing this for 10 years,” he said.

Cauley, who attended Columbus State for a semester of theater studies and serves as a worship leader at Buckhead Church, has plenty of pedigree. In 2009, he went on tour with Perry’s show, “Laugh to Keep from Crying.” He had been working with Perry’s house band, Simply Irresistible, when the music director approached him with a message.

“He said, ‘I hate to lose you, but Tyler said he wants the white guy in the band for the next tour,” Cauley, 29, said.

While performing in the show was “one of those little victories that I can tell my kids about one day,” Cauley said, “Laugh”’s run was cut short when Perry’s mother, Willie, died in December 2009.

But Cauley’s young lifetime of connections served a valuable purpose.

The “Voice” audition cropped up when his college booking agency tried to hook him up with the show during its first season. But Cauley was busy overseas with the Jackson tribute, where he was one of six singers.

“I was also the only white guy there,” he said. “It’s kind of my theme!”

Prior to season two, they came back. “They said, ‘We know you’re note a reality TV guy, but…’” Cauley said with a laugh. “I take a lot of pride in paying the dues. But I talked to (season one winner) Javier Colon and he was like, ‘Man, just do it.’”

Cauley had two noteworthy takeaways from his time on the show: He learned from Levine that not taking yourself seriously is the epitome of coolness and also, that U2’s Bono personally reviewed his blind audition before giving permission for Cauley and Lucca to sing “Beautiful Day” on “The Voice.”

But that was the past.

Now, Cauley is promoting his new EP, “My Turn,” which he funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign (he raised about $1,800 more than his goal) and debuted at a sold-out CD release concert at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth last month.

The songs showcase Cauley’s creamy vocal style on the tender, string-laden ballad “Barely Hanging On,” his love of Earth, Wind & Fire-styled R&B funk on the horn-infused “It Won’t Be Me” and his ear for arranging on a slinky re-working of INXS’ “Need You Tonight.”

Cauley, who is supported by Red Light Management, recorded the album at Murray SoundLab in Kennesaw, inside Mount Paran Christian School. While he’s certainly humble, he’s also confident in the type of record he wanted to create and didn’t stray from his gut.

“The majority of the pop world is, unfortunately, a lot of garbage, when you’ve got licking wrecking balls and twerking,” Cauley said in a nod to Miley Cyrus’ recent activities. “For years I was terrified of the word pop, but when we went into the studio, I put up signs saying ‘WWMD’ – What Would Michael Do? Because Michael Jackson was the king of pop. So what made him so great and timeless compared to the junk nowadays? The melody and the hooks are the same, but musically, it’s phenomenal. So we decided, let’s make a pop record, but let’s make it musical. Record labels will frown on it because there is some flashy drum and guitar stuff on there, but I wanted that.”

Cauley’s talent is evident, and, as much as he wants to break through as an artist, he’s also realistically eyeing a career path as a songwriter. He cites friend Dave Barnes, who wrote Blake Shelton’s hit, “God Gave Me You,” as the perfect example of a guy who can sell out The Loft at Center Stage, but really earns a living through writing.

“If the pop and radio world are not going to take that chance on real musicianship,” Cauley said of his style of music, “I know the writing world will. I’m not going to dumb myself down or sell my soul.”

Chris Cauley performs at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. $20. The Velvet Note, 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta. 1-855-583-5838,

He’s also part of the ATL Collection presentation of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with Ruby Velle and Jason Eskridge. 8 p.m. Oct. 30-31. $10 (advance) and $13 (at the door). The Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Ave.,

Source: Access Atlanta



[ extract concerning Chris ]
1. CHRIS CAULEY, 27, Atlanta
Sob Story: Cauley’s #1 musical influence, his grandmother, a bluegrass musician, recently died.
The Voice: Far from singing bluegrass, Chris chose to cover “Grenade” and turned in a fairly unique, grainy, certainly more mature take on the Bruno Mars hit. It was easily the most consistently executed performance of the night, imparting real grit to Mars’ gleaming neo-soul grooves. But it was Cauley’s falsetto on the lyric “Jump in front of a train for you…” that finally sold Adam on it. Chris suggested that Adam and Cee Lo arm wrestle for his loyalty, to which Adam later tweeted, “Arm wrestling Cee Lo wouldn’t go well for me. However, I’m pretty sure I could take the cat. It’s on @PurrfecttheCat.” Despite a lack of bicep power, Adam still earned Cauley’s loyalty.
The three other team additions–Nathan Parrett (“The Joker”), Brian Fuente (“Paris Ooh, La La”) and Moses Stone (“Let’s Get It Started”) were breezed over so quickly, it’s hard to render a critical perspective. I’m interested in how Stone is the first MC to make it through on The Voice, yet puzzled why any MC would choose the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started” for his audition.
And so part three of the blind auditions comes to an end. Did you share my relative disappointment? Do you agree that Chris Cauley has the most potential of the lot? And how much longer do you think it will be before Purrfect the Cat has his own swivel chair?


Artist finds his ‘Voice’

Central grad auditions on popular show

By Alyssa LaRenzie

Millions of eyes will be on hometown singer Chris Cauley as he auditions for the televised singing competition, “The Voice.”

The four sets of eyes he’ll be concerned about, however, will be facing the other direction.

The NBC show, which premieres its second season tonight after the Super Bowl, brings in talented singers to do what’s called a “blind audition” for four popular recording artists.

The judges can’t see the person on stage as he or she sings, and they have about 30 seconds to push a button if they like what they hear.

Forsyth County native Cauley said he can’t talk to the press until he appears on the show, other than to confirm that he did audition.

Cauley’s father, Jerry, said his son is a professional singer, who was encouraged by his friends to try out for the TV show.

The family plans to watch the game and the show’s premiere together at Chris Cauley’s home in Alpharetta.

“It’s going to be exciting,” said the elder Cauley, adding that he’s caught a glimpse of his son on one of the commercials for the show. “We don’t know anything as far as how everything turns out. It’s all confidential.” Continue reading