Anders Osborne’s Send Me a Friend helps struggling addicts in the music industry | ParkRecord.com

Anders Osborne’s Send Me a Friend helps struggling addicts in the music industry

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Anders Osborne will perform with Luther Dickinson on Aug. 2 at O.P. Rockwell. The concert is part of a benefit for Osborne's Send Me a Friend Foundation, a national support network for music-industry professionals who are struggling to stay sober.

Anders Osborne, who will perform with guitarist Luther Dickinson at O.P. Rockwell on Aug. 2, nearly lost his family, home and career to his addiction nearly a decade ago.

The singer-songwriter and guitarist, who was named Entertainer of the Year by the Big Easy Music Awards and has won 21 Best of the Beat Awards, was in the depths of substance addiction when friends stepped in and sent him to rehab.

"Eventually I 'got it,' and started to work hard to change my habits and thinking to stay clean," said Osborne, who has been sober for nearly nine years.

A year ago, Osborne decided to give back to the music community and created Send Me a Friend Foundation with Bill Taylor, who handles the every-day tasks of the foundation.

Eventually I ‘got it,’ and started to work hard to change my habits and thinking to stay clean...”Anders Osborne,award-winning singerand songwriter

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"Send Me a Friend is based on something that became clear to me in my early days of recovery from drugs and alcohol," Osborne said. "I realized that the difficult part was to get back to work, because as a musician, you usually play in nightclubs and bars and theaters that serve alcohol. That environment is conducive to relapse."

Osborne envisioned a database filled with sober people who can go out on the road and support recovering artists and crew members who work in the music industry.

"These people could just come out and sit with the artists and stage crew and give them a little safety net to not only to keep them company, but also keep them accountable on their recoveries," Osborn said. "It doesn't matter if you're famous or not. They just come keep you company while you're at work."

The Aug. 2 concert will be a fundraiser for the foundation. (See accompanying story).

"We have a few thousand people signed up for Send Me a Friend, and the concert will benefit the program," Osborne said.

The concert will feature songs from Osborne's 30-year career in music. And he said music just felt comfortable to him.

"I think you make a discovery at some point in your life where you find something you feel at ease with, and in my case it was songwriting," he said. "I liked putting together the music and the lyrics together."

After a while, Osborne knew he was going to be a professional musician.

"I wasn't inspired to do any other work, so I made this into my job," he said chuckling. "It has worked out so far."

Throughout his career, Osborne has worked with other musicians and songwriters such as Stanton Moore, Derek Trucks, Karl Denson, Tab Benoit and Keb' Mo,' all of whom have left their mark on Osborne's craft.

"All collaborations are important for your development and your own sense of identity, because you get to see who you are in contrast to the people you work with," he said. "And that keeps things fresh."

Freshness is one of the secrets to a long career in music, Osborne said.

"You move through a season of ideas and then you make adjustments," Osborne said. "I get very frustrated if I get stuck in a certain place, because that takes away from the source idea of why I do this. That source idea is to stay inspired and learn something new while finding different ways to play music."

Anders continues to create new music and write new songs.

"I try to keep a lot of guitars and a few instruments around all the time," he said. "That way I can pick something up and see what happens no matter where I am."

The musician said he's comfortable with who he is today.

"Over the years I've become familiar with my own voice and my own language," he said. "I figured out my strength and weaknesses and have been able maneuver through that; and create what I want to say and how I want to say it."

Anders Osborne will perform a benefit with Luther Dickinson on Aug. 2 at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St. The concert is a benefit for Send Me a Friend Foundation. Tickets are available by visiting http://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-anders-osborne-luther-dickinson-ga-send-me-a-friend-foundation-benefit-tickets-47224973166?aff=ebdssbeac.