(Oct. 2, 2020) Country music recording artist and Ocean City native, Jimmy Charles, released his single, “Hard Way To Go,” on Sept. 25, and on Oct. 7, the video for the song will debut on CMT.com.
“I’m so excited for all the people this powerful video will touch and heal,” Charles said last month.
The video will launch around 12 a.m.
“I’m very excited for the song and video to get a national platform on CMT. Hundreds of thousands will see the video in the first day,” he said earlier this week.
The song was co-written by Kris Bergsnes and Melissa Peirce, and produced by Paul David, and is available via all major digital retail and streaming outlets.
“I knew this was a song people needed to hear and especially in this time of pandemic raising suicide, overdoses and addiction rates, now is the time for the video and movement,” Charles said.
According to a press release, the song is written from the perspective of a person struggling with alcohol addiction, “the emotionally reflective and revealing ballad spotlights the ongoing internal battle between the Bible and the devil, paying the price of family sacrifice and the journey down the winding road to recovery. With simplistic lyrics livened by Charles’ passionate and gritty vocals, softened by solemn acoustic guitar and eloquent cello, the redemptive tune is seemingly true-to-life.”
Charles thinks the song is “as down-to-earth and as honest as it gets.”
The most common reaction Charles said he gets from those who have listened to the song, is “Wow,” and “that is powerful,” “gave me goosebumps,” he said. “And from recovering addicts, they say, ‘So true’ and ‘thank you for telling our story.’”
Charles said the video is even more powerful with the visual and storyline.
“We are already changing lives and have people dropping the stigma because of this song and project,” he said. “The messages are already beginning and even an old high school friend is on board helping as he has just begun his sober journey and says this is helping keep him focused and on top of his addiction.”
What Charles wants people to take away from listening to the song is a sense of understanding and honesty that recovery isn’t an easy road.
“The right way is the Hard Way To Go, but you are not alone and there is nothing embarrassing about asking for help,” he said. “With the partners I have aligned with we will be able to offer real hands-on help no matter where anyone lives in the U.S.
“The video and song will create content, community and conversation [and] my partners will offer support and solution to save lives,” he continued. “I can’t wait to get that first hug from someone that say because of this movement I’m still here. I think there will be many able to say that and this is what using music to heal is all about.”
The video was directed and produced by Kyle Saylors (Saylors Brothers Entertainment). It was shot at the Johnny Cash Farm in Bon Aqua, Tennessee.
The sunlight in the video plays a big role, he said.
“It was just perfect on both days of the shoot and as if the Lord was there – providing us perfect ‘light’ as his blessing. The sunlight truly represents a ray of hope,” Charles said.
According to a press release, the storyline is “reflective of Charles’ childhood and a lost love between he and his biological father, and is supported by actor, TV and film producer, and close personal friend, Kyle Smithson. As a recovering addict, Smithson’s portrayal of a tortured soul fighting against demons, the surrender of a family life and finding an inner peace, is a personal life chapter that hits close to home.”
As the track played over and over, Smithson said he couldn’t help but feel like the storyline was similar to his.
“It became real and emotional for me. I shared my story surrounding my battle with addiction with Jimmy and he extended the invitation to play the lead,” he said. “To be part in the ‘Hard Way To Go’ video was not only an honor, it was therapeutic. It is reflective of a chapter of my life and shares a message of hope – for anyone – to keep trying; because there is hope and you are not alone.”
Charles released “Hard Way To Go” in conjunction with National Recovery Month (September) and National Substance Abuse Prevention Month (October) campaigns.
He has teamed up with several national addiction organizations – including American Addiction Centers, Vertava Health and most recently former NBA basketball player Chris Herren and his nonprofit the Herren Project – to coordinate public awareness campaigns surrounding recovery and substance abuse in support of those who are working to overcome their battle with addiction.
He has also partnered with Mindset Apparel clothing company, committed to the message of rising above addiction.
Locally, Charles has joined with WJZ, Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Talbot counties’ Go Purple campaigns, the Joan W. Jenkins Foundation of Ocean City and Jolly Roger Amusements.
Charles, a Stephen Decatur High School graduate, received “Outstanding Young Tennessean” Award in 2017, and was a 2019 TOYA (Ten Outstanding Young Americans) Award winner, presented by the Jaycees International USA for using his music to positively impact the world.
His song and video, “Superman,” trended No. 1 with CMT and the song about the journey of a cancer survivor has helped him save lives across the nation traveling from coast to coast as Zero The End of Prostate Cancer’s national ambassador.
The singer/songwriter founded I Am Not Alone 501c3 nonprofit organization two years ago to spread hope, strength and unity to cancer survivors.
His most recent country radio release, “Bout Summertime,” landed in the Top 100 on the MusicRow Country Breakout Chart.
Last month, Charles was named Nashville Industry Music Awards Male Country Artist of the Year, and he also won Song of the Year with “Never Had a Bad Day.
Charles was nominated by the Nashville Industry Music Awards board. The fans then voted for their favorites.
For more information about Charles, visit his official website at www.jimmycharlesmusic.com or check out his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.