The Soundtrack for Wrestling For Jesus is now available at iTunes.
In September of 2010 I sent Charlie Peacock an email asking if he would be willing to produce the soundtrack to Wrestling For Jesus (among many other things, Charlie is known for his producing work, including the recent debut of The Civil Wars). Charlie and I had worked together on one other project and it was a great experience. I knew that I wanted a sound that was “southern” but not cliched like Lynryd Skynryd or Dueling Banjos. I thought Charlie would be the one to capture what I heard in my head when I watched the film.
Charlie responded with a simple question, “Do you editorialize or let the characters speak?” I assured him that it was the latter (and I was encouraged that this is what mattered to Charlie). Several weeks later I was in Charlie’s studio at the Art House in Nashville with some amazing musicians. Jerry McPherson and Sam Ashworth began to craft a sound that was raw and emotional.
Early in the process the topic of lyrics came up. Reticent at first (film scores aren’t supposed to have lyrics!) we landed on the idea of using old southern spirituals. This gave the soundtrack a feeling reminisent of Flannery O’Connor’s reflection on the south as “Christ haunted.”
In the end the guys created a score that I could easily listen to in my iPod. Charlie did amazing work along with Jerry and Sam. We also had two fabulous engineers on the project, Mark Nash and Richie Biggs.
For me, highlights include:
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” – sung by Sam and recorded in one take it was a magical moment. Fans of Johnny Cash and Moby will recognize this old spiritual
“Jesus Gonna Call Your Name” – an example of how we used lyrics from old spirituals. A great raw composition used during a wrestling sequence.
“Till My Body Comes Undone” – The lyrics were written on the spot by Charlie (and sung by him). This song was used when the film begins to take a more serious turn.