Opioid Awareness Rallies Across the Country Will Play New Song ‘Dedicated to Life’ on May 6
— Bruce James, singer/songwriter
NORWALK, CT, UNITED STATES, April 27, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — When Bruce James’ longtime friend Robin Golden Trotter lost her daughter to fentanyl poisoning in 2019, the Hilton Head, SC, musician knew he had to do something. “My mission became very clear,” says James, a singer/songwriter with five decades in the business. Released just this month, is the fruit of his labor, a new music video produced with Factory Underground Studio in Norwalk, CT, called “Dedicated to Life.” [HERE ] The song, written and composed by James in the pop/rock genre, delivers a message to young people to choose life, hope and love. It has been selected by APALD, a national organization dedicated to raising awareness for the opioid crisis, and will be played during a national rally day on May 6, 2023.
Making a Difference
Being a severe stutterer from third grade into his early 20s, disfluency, shyness and fear pulled him closer to music as a way to communicate. He realized the impact music can have on both those who create it and those who hear it. Like his new music video “Dedicated to Life,” James frequently writes about timely social issues. He is a poet at heart, inspired by greats such as James Taylor and Bob Dylan. His soulful lyrics are meant to inspire and uplift. “As musicians and writers, we all grow and change and sometimes we latch on to a cause we feel we need to reflect on,” says James. He wrote his first song in 1972, “Lay Down Your Arms,” a Vietnam-era song. Over the years, he has produced close to 100 songs, mostly his own compositions. He has worked alongside countless artists, including working as an engineer/producer with José Feliciano.
Grammy-Winning Producer Takes Notice
“I have known Bruce for a long time, and I’ve always admired his passion for every song he has written,” says Jimmy Ienner (Stamford, CT), Grammy- and Oscar-winning American music and film executive known for co-producing the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing among other well-known albums. “I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with many giants of this world and the consistency I see with Bruce similar to that of other big talents I’ve worked with is the clarity and subject in every song. Here’s to many more.”
For “Dedicated to Life,” James performed on acoustic guitar himself. He partnered with singer Josue Avila (Winter Park, FL), a father of three, and Christian artist and musical director at Calvary Orlando Church, who sang and performed keyboards and programming for the arrangement. Mark Vollenweider (Trumbull, CT), performed on drums.
Putting a Face on a Crisis
Production for “Dedicated to Life” proved challenging yet rewarding. A major feature of the video is a wall of images showing the faces of countless victims of fentanyl poisoning whose loved ones reached out to share their story with James from an organization called the Association of People Against Lethal Drugs (APALD). The nonprofit website weareapald.org, is based in Delphus, a small town outside of Lima, OH, and founded by Diane Urban, who also lost her son to fentanyl in 2019. She reached out to many families in touch with the organization asking them to share their stories. “As the emails poured in, moms, dads, brothers and sisters shared their heartbreaking sad stories with me. Having three children, I can’t even imagine their grief,” says James. I need whoever watches this video to feel that anger, the senseless loss, the incredible sadness that fentanyl creates.”
For James, this song is a first step in addressing a serious crisis. In 2021, the Center for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics reported 71,238 deaths attributed to synthetic opioids (fentanyl), a 20% increase from the year prior. The music video is going to be shown as part APALD’s Third Annual Nationwide Rally on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Last year, 38 cities across America participated in the rally day and Urban expects the number of locations will increase this year. “Our hope,” says Urban, “is that the song and video will not only become an anthem but also help bring awareness to the No. 1 cause of death in America for young people.”
Dedicated to Life