Written By: Brian Wolff
I wanted to take a brief moment to talk about the history of “Strong” and what it means to me. This is something I’ve kept close to my chest for a long time because it always felt so deeply personal. I’ve had so many people tell me how much this song means to them at this point going through whatever they have had going on… I don’t feel a need to keep this side to me private anymore.
I was in the process of writing this song in the early summer of 2011. It was meant to be a reflection on what it took to get through what still remains to be the worst moment of my life. September 15, 2006 was the day insurmountable health issues took my brother, Michael Anthony Wolff from this world. He had a really long, very brave fight with something called ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), but at the end of the day… he just couldn’t beat it. My heart is forever broken. They say everyone copes with the hardships of life and tragedy in their own way. My way is and has been to write songs. I’m just thankful I have such a wonderful platform like Fair City Fire nowadays to share my version of self-therapy to the world.
In July 2011… floods hit my hometown of Binghamton, NY. Much like what we’re seeing today in Houston… floods destroyed homes and businesses of some of my friends, family and neighbors in the community that I loved and still love with all my heart. So right then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I knew what I had to do… the only thing I could do. Finish this song, “Strong”, and release it as a single to try to raise money to help relief efforts.
I contacted my favorite producer in Binghamton, Steve Kocich, and told him what I was trying to do. He was on board without hesitation to help the cause. He didn’t have a studio space at the time so we had to get creative. I called up WHRW 90.5 FM in Binghamton because I had heard they just installed a recording studio within their space on campus at my alma mater, Binghamton University. When I told them about my mission, they were immediately super accommodating. I rounded up the band, Dan Martin and Roy Clark, and we headed into the studio to get this song out. Everybody was working hard and working for free. It was amazing that everybody around this shared the vision I had.
A little side story. The chorus at the end.. I knew it had to be big. So I started walking the halls of the union building searching for people that would be willing to sing on this track. I asked a few strangers who were really shy.. Then I heard the elite men’s acapella group, The Binghamton Crosby’s practicing down the hall. What the hell.. I had to go ask. They jumped at the opportunity to help out. They learned their parts fast and got it done in one take. True professionals. The song was done… we got it out and raised a good amount of money for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Well that brings us to today. In case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know… Hurricane Harvey has flooded and devastated so much of Houston. It’s bad.. It’s really, really bad. As soon as I started seeing footage of the destruction… of course it reminded me of the floods in Binghamton and it hit me again. We could use the newer, 2016 Fair City Fire version of the song we had included as the last track on our debut LP, The Simple Truth to do the same damn thing. We’ve set up “Strong” as a single on Bandcamp and are selling it to raise money for The Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts. 100% of the profits are going straight to them. CLICK HERE TO DONATE>>>> Go here to contribute. While the song is sad in that it came from a sad time of my life. I’ve been told it’s also uplifting and moving. I hope the message helps. Houstonians, you are strong and you will get through this.