Blind Melon Inspires Rehab Record Label

Blind Melon Inspires Rehab Record Label

By Chrisanne Grise 09/12/12

Iron Ridge Recordings supports creativity throughout recovery, as the label's debut artist Travis Warren (of Blind Melon) tells The Fix.

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Travis Warren's solo album is Iron Ridge's
first release, dropping Sept. 25th.

Clarity Way Rehab Facility is taking music therapy to a whole new level with the launch of its very own record label: Iron Ridge Road Recordings. The seed was planted years ago when Travis T. Warren, frontman of the rock band Blind Melon, went to rehab and was forced to record music in a closet, as there was no other space. “That closet was so small, I don’t even think my guitar fit in there, so I had to keep the door open a little,” Warren tells The Fix. Later, he met with Clarity Way's founders, husband and wife Justin and Robin Daniels (Robin’s brother is also in Blind Melon), as they were preparing to open their Pennsylvania drug and alcohol facility. Warren's story inspired them to build their own studio, providing musicians with a creative outlet throughout the recovery process—and eventually they decided to take their commitment even further. “Everything fell into place and we thought, 'Let’s take this to the final conclusion and actually start a record label,'” says John Chuter, communications director for Clarity Way.

The first debut solo album from Warren, called Beneath These Borrowed Skies, will be released on September 25. “There’s no doubt about it that music saved my life,” says the rocker. “The experience has been great because I have a lot of friends who are on bigger labels and you may have a bigger budget but you don’t necessarily get to do the things you want to do, creatively speaking. The cool thing about Iron Ridge is they just let me go for it. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of other labels that would have done that.” Chuter says it was important to allow him total creative freedom: “We didn’t want him to make a record about recovery but a record that’s about someone’s life stories and experiences expressed through music."

All of Iron Ridge’s profits will go to MusiCares, a charitable arm of the Grammys that helps support musicians with financial, personal or medical needs; the label is also sponsoring the MusiCares annual songwriting competition called Teens! Make Music. They plan to release many more albums throughout the year, with the ultimate goal being to raise awareness about addiction and recovery among younger people—without being “too preachy.” They also hope that Warren’s story will inspire those struggling with addiction, especially musicians. “It shows that recovery itself can be rewarding and you can still continue to be an extremely creative artist, and that can play an extremely vital part in your recovery," says Chuter. "We just think that’s such a positive message to put out there.”

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.

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