Don’t Fight It, You’ve Got To Feel It!
I am thrilled today to share the link for my single “Don’t Fight It” from my upcoming full album “You’ve Got To Feel It!” featuring The Swampers, The Muscle Shoals Horns and The Shoals Sisters. The full album will be released on September 15. The first single “Don’t Fight It” which was released digitally today was written by Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper in 1965 at the historic Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. would later be assassinated in April 1968. It’s a song about letting go of inhibitions, shaking what you’ve got and celebrating the moment through authentic expression; no matter what is going on.
This recording of “Don’t Fight It” and the entire “You’ve Got To Feel It!” album was recorded and mixed by Jimmy Nutt at The NuttHouse Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama last year and mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles, CA. My longtime brother, confidant and mentor David Resnik called me for the journey of making a soul album. Resnik, who produced the album along with co/producer, Steve Bassett organized and orchestrated the sessions, calling on living legends in and around Muscle Shoals to be a part of the recording. Our time together in the studio was a time of pure fellowship in soul music’s “promised land” and I was honored to lift my voice with original members of the legendary rhythm section The Swampers, The Muscle Shoals Horns and The Shoals Sisters. Donna Jean Godchaux, who was a member of The Grateful Dead and also appeared on “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge in 1966 and “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley in 1969 even stopped by and sang backing vocals on “Don’t Fight It”.
The year 1965 that this song was written was a defining year in US history. On February 21, 1965 Malcolm X was assassinated in Manhattan. In March of 1965, six hundred civil rights activists left Selma, Alabama on Route 80 toward Montgomery. They were marching to protest the killing of Jimmy Lee Jackson, and unarmed demonstrator slain during a march the prior month by an Alabama state trooper. The marchers were stopped by the troopers at Edmund Pettus Bridge and beaten with clubs and sprayed with water hoses and tear gas resulting in what we know as Bloody Sunday. The very next day on March 8, 1965 the first 3500 United States Marines arrived in South Vietnam.
A couple of weeks later, Martin Luther King Jr. and 25,000 civil rights activists joined the Selma marchers successfully ending the 4-day march from Selma, Alabama, to the capitol in Montgomery. A few months later, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed in to law. On August 11, a six-day riot broke out in Watts, California following an African-American man and members of his family being beaten by police.
The spirit in soul music offers us a way to feel something, be moved, get energized and get some relief from pivotal, troubling, violent times. Soul music is about non-exclusion. Soul music’s great pioneers importantly broke down barriers and left us with a legacy to learn from and live up to. This offering of our version of “Don’t Fight It” is being released today at a time in our history when we find ourselves keeping on, in the midst of organizing for the cause of good and resisting against evil. As we climb this steep hill together, arm in arm, soul to soul, let us protect each others hearts and remind each other to celebrate the soulful moments of life with pure, unique, authentic emotion without apology or fear. So get up! Don’t fight it; you’ve got to feel it! — Chris Pierce
Photo and single cover design by Mathieu Bitton.