The Songs of Hope, Awareness, and Recovery for Everyone (SHARE) CD, coordinated and produced by a volunteer coalition of Nashville-based drug and alcohol treatment professionals and music industry executives, is set to arrive in stores August 25th. The release is timed to coincide with National Recovery Month in September.
Sixteen of the tracks on this multi-artist collection are reissues of some of the finest country songs of the past 40 years -- hits, hidden treasures, and standards. SHARE's signature song, When Love Rules the World, is a new recording written by Kent Blazy, Blair Daly and Tom Douglas, and produced by Paul Worley. It showcases the voices of T. Graham Brown, Hal Ketchum, Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, and 16 other Nashville artists. Created especially for the SHARE project, the song is accompanied by a video and was released as a single on August 4th. The Grand Ole Opry will highlight the CD on its live broadcast September 9th. And CADCA has invited the artists featured on the CD to perform live at its annual Drug-Free Kids Campaign awards dinner, to be held in Washington, DC, on September 16th.
"Promoting widespread recovery from alcohol and drug abuse is a nearly overwhelming challenge," said Al McCree, executive producer of the CD. "The recovery movement doesn't have a strong lobby. Social stigma and the anonymous nature of recovery programs help keep many inspiring stories of courage, healing and restoration hidden from the public eye. We want more people to understand that addiction is an illness and that recovery is possible. These recordings are an effort to take a message of hope to a wider audience."
The SHARE Committee received support from Join Together, a project of the Boston University School of Public Health, to help create the CD. Join Together serves as a national resource for communities taking action against substance abuse, and is funded primarily by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care.
David Rosenbloom, director of Join Together, said, "We believe these songs of hope will make a real difference in how people view addiction and recovery. Discrimination against people with drug or alcohol problems can be overcome when artists, leaders and advocates throughout communities come together to raise their voices, as SHARE so amply demonstrates."
"Alcohol and drug abuse have been a central theme in country music since before the dawn of commercial recording," said Amy Kurland, past president of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Middle Tennessee and a member of SHARE's board of directors. "In fact, a lot of songs that became popular in the 20th century have their roots in 18th century folk ballads. In recent years, a more widespread understanding of addiction as an illness has fostered a change in the nature of "drinking songs" to include songs that speak to the experience of recovery."
The songs on the SHARE CD chronicle a journey from darkness to light, from illness and despair to strength and hope. "Generally, when speakers at recovery meetings share their stories," McCree said, "their words can be outlined as 'what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now'. These songs are sequenced to reflect that process."
The SHARE CD is available in music stores and through Hazelden with special discounts for prevention and recovery organizations who want copies as incentives for donors, rewards for volunteers, or for use in fundraising.