Chris Pierce on the mountain scene: NPR


Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Chris Pierce on mountain stage

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Chris Pierce on mountain stage

Boasting a soaring, church-built vocal range that is often compared to Ray Charles, Chris Pierce has been all over the stage for the past 15 years. Discovered by Seal while attending USC, the freelance, folk and blues singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has kept the rubber hot, touring 150 days a year while sharing the stage with artists such as Jill Scott, Al Green, Robert Cray and Toots. and the Maytals.

make his first mountain scene appearance, recorded at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, SC, Pierce shared powerful songs from a critically acclaimed new album titled American Silence.

Accompanied by acoustic guitar and vocals, Pierce carved the lyrics of that album’s title track into the bones, singing the American posture – complacency – to address and deal with racial issues: “Can we sing a song for you? / Will music move your heart and mind? / Will our song stop you? / American silence is a crime.”

Concluding the track on a fierce note, Pierce tells the crowd the origin story of the following: “I started getting a lot of calls from family and friends, and I come from a very diverse family. .. they all wanted to hear about what it’s like to be a black man in America. I wanted the chorus to be a summary of racism, “Too bad, face it, damn it.” Sound All The Bells.”

Pierce closes the set with “Young Black and Beautiful,” a song of hope and resilience he wrote as a love letter to young black children around the world — and to his old self, a 15-year-old. who went deaf before finally regaining most of the hearing in his right ear.

“Keep on walking against the wind / When you fall, pick yourself up / You may be pushed and jostled and shaken / Know in your heart that it’s their loss.”

List of sets:

  • “American Silence”
  • “Ring All the Bells”
  • “Chain Gang 4th of July”
  • “It’s been burning for a while”
  • “Young, Black and Beautiful”

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