“Don’t You Put Your Hands On Me” was the first single from Regina Bonelli‘s 2018 album Love Letter (on True Groove Records), an album that spent a staggering 60 weeks (also reaching the #1 slot) on the Roots Music Report Soul-Blues Chart, as well as being included in the top 200 albums of the year for 2018, 2019, & 2020.
There’s a reason for that. Bonelli has the kind of voice that makes you sit up and pay attention. She’s a commanding presence on stage and a vocal powerhouse. “No matter what I was singing, people would always say ‘You sound like a blues singer,’ she comments. “I think I’m a blues-soul singer. I don’t try to sound like anything; I sing the way I sing, and that’s what comes through.”
Inspired by early blues and R&B legends of the 60’s and 70’s, Regina began singing and playing piano at the tender age of five. Ten years later, after picking up a guitar, she was performing. As the years went by, she had two children and raised them on her own. Life and love gave Regina more than enough inspiration to sing the blues.
The original song, “Don’t You Put Your Hands On Me” produced by Tomas Doncker and James Dellatacoma, tackles the issues of domestic violence and sexual harassment.
Interestingly enough, the song, a visceral anthem for female empowerment, pre-dates the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “I wrote the song in 2017, probably a year before the record came out,” Bonelli told us. “I’m coming from a place that’s not ‘Oh, he touched my arm inappropriately,’ or ‘he talked about my body and made me feel uncomfortable,’ I’m referring specifically to domestic violence and abuse’. Whenever I perform women always come up to me and say, ‘Thank you, that song really touched me.’ That means a lot to me as a performer and a writer, to know people are really getting it, that you’re breaking through to them, that means everything to me. Normally this song is the closer, but for some reason we opened with it the night we shot this video at The Bitter End (in NYC), and it really set the tone for the night.”
We’re proud to bring you the world premiere video of “Don’t You Put Your Hands On Me,” recorded live at The Bitter End.
*Feature image Patrick Hillaire courtesy of Night Train PR