Colorado – The CAN’d Aid Foundation, Oskar Blues Brewery‘s do-goodery arm, is thrilled to announce the launch of “Send Me a Friend,” a one-of-a-kind support system developed in partnership with New Orleans musician Anders Osborne. Send Me a Friend’s mission is simple – support musicians on the road to recovery from addiction by helping them get back to work sober. Conceived by Anders in response to his own experiences with early sobriety, Send Me A Friend provides musicians (and those who work in the music industry) with the resources they need to make life on the road-in clubs, music halls, and festivals – less daunting.
“When I first got clean, it was suggested that I should take time off from playing music and do something else while I focused on my recovery,” said
Osborne, who now has eight years of sobriety and a revitalized career. “Playing music was what I knew how to do…and it’s how I support my family – so I made the decision to get back on the road and start performing again.”
CAN’d Aid’s newest TUNES program is named after one of Anders’ more powerful and hard-hitting songs, where he sings, “You know I’m lost out here. Yeah I’m lost out here. Please won’t you send me a friend?” The creation of this nation-wide network will do just that: send Friends with long-term sobriety that have volunteered to be “on call” to support newly-sober musicians at their gigs. “It was really hard for me in the beginning and something like this would have been awesome,” said Osborne. Some musicians have gone into alcohol rehab to help themselves get back on the road to sobriety so it is clearly a struggle experienced by many in the industry and it’s hoped that they can get such help when it’s required.
CAN’d Aid is closely tied to Oskar Blues Brewery – its founding members include OB soul founder Dale Katechis and a handful of longtime employees.
“An important part of CAN’d Aid’s mission includes supporting music initiatives through its “TUNES” program, so helping musicians when they need it most is a natural fit, “said Oskar Blues Marketing Director, Chad Melis. “As a brewery, we’re proud of the charitable work CAN’d Aid is doing. They’re putting an unCANventional spin on philanthropy and it’s exciting to see them leading the way with Anders to support musicians who need help. We understand that addiction is a particularly widespread issue within the music business and CAN’d Aid and Anders have found a hands-on way to help those who need support.”
All of the program’s Friends will have at least one year of continuous sobriety and will be called on, as needed, to meet with a struggling musician while they are “on the gig.” Friends will provide one-on-one support, a buffer, and a safe harbor from the temptations that can loom in music venue environments. Additionally, Anders will help curate the program’s website by providing helpful information on coping with early sobriety in the music industry.
“Getting through early sobriety is all about connecting with other sober people and to be accountable. That can be tricky on the road,” Osborne says. “We hope this will make it a little easier.”
Anders and CAN’d Aid will officially launch “Send Me A Friend” on Thursday, December 15th with an intimate acoustic performance on the eve of his annual New Orleans Holiday Spectacular at John Bukaty’s Studio and Gallery at 841 Carondelet Street. During this special evening, Anders will perform, talk about the program, and take questions from audience members. All proceeds will directly support the program, including a silent auction featuring a signed guitar and artwork. Oskar Blues will provide the beverages and long-time Anders friend Shaggy, the “Crawfish King,” will serve food.
Tickets are available for purchase HERE.
Read more about the Send Me a Friend program HERE.