After his stint on The Voice, Jared Blake became best known for rowdy country-rock songs like “Stomp” and “Countryfied.”
Well, the Season 1 artist just released his first single in three years, and it’s about as opposite as you can get — a touching ballad born of love, perseverance and a pair of accidents.
Jared dropped “Don’t Let Her Be Gone” last Friday. It’s intended as the first release from an upcoming full-length album.
“It started out just an awesome song that I had heard many times before by one of the songwriters, Ray Stephenson. And I had always felt like it was song that I would have written. It’s so relatable and powerful, too,” Jared told Voice Views.
Typically, he records only his own material. But after recovering from what he calls “a bad motorcycle wreck,” he was eager to “go all-out” with a full-length album. And “Don’t Let Her Be Gone” seemed like the perfect starting point.
I’ve always been drawn to recording songs that felt true for what’s going on in my life at the time. This song came to mind with where I was at the time pretty perfectly — my relationship had been through so much during my accident recovery. I had to record it.
Then, unfortunately, the song became even more real.
“Right after I was ready to lay down the vocals, my wife and I were in a head-on collision and the moment I thought I lost her, this song became my life, more real than ever,” he says.
“It’s my heart and life in these lyrics forever. It changed everything we were doing and became the focus.”
All of which helps explain the ache in Jared’s voice that comes through on the new single.
Jared also credits his wife for his involvement in “Live to Be,” a program designed to steer youngsters away from drug and alcohol.
“She’s kept my focus on others and what we can do to help,” he said of his wife. “When I was on ‘The Voice,’ I got a lot of messages about how to help someone suffering addiction from fans. It became really apparent that I needed to do something to help others.
It took this many years to see what my part in that would be. We decided to help kids make better choices and help prevent these problems from ever happening.
So Jared travels to schools, performing and talking to the students. To date, “Live to Be” has visited nearly 200 schools.
“We’ve been able to get kids help, save them from some situations and help others see a better choice in life,” Jared said.
Live to Be is partnered with SAFE to educate children and support parents with more education.
Check out the official music video: