Bridgewater Musician to Debut Song of Hope
The song will be sold to raise money for the Steeplechase Cancer Center.
About two years ago, Bridgewater resident Alan Grant’s father, Bill, was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer—and while he is now celebrating his father being in complete remission, Alan Grant is also celebrating the release of a song he wrote completely by accident.
After a particularly bad week during his father’s treatment, Grant couldn’t sleep, and he woke up at 2 a.m. with words running through his mind.
“I started jotting down some notes, picking up my guitar and playing around,” said the singer/songwriter who has been working in music professionally for 25 years. “I put it away for a week or two, then came back to it and set some music to it.”
The song, called “Brand New Day of Hope,” was written as a country/rock ballad about Grant’s family’s journey through his father's diagnosis, surgery and later remission.
“It really was meant to be written as a song to be positive and let people know there is hope for a diagnosis,” he said.
But, Grant said, he never intended for the song to go anywhere.
And now, the Somerset Medical Center is using that song as part of a fundraiser to raise money for the Steeplechase Cancer Center.
“I intended to leave it as a song I wrote, and shelve it and leave it for its own purposes,” he said. “I was in a meeting with the Somerset Medical Center about campaigns, and they said what about using a song that would help people know there is hope [after a diagnosis].”
“I said that I wrote a song about it,” he added. “And it happened very fast from there.”
In the end, Grant said, he put together a group of about seven band members, and they recorded the song, which will officially premiere at a Somerset Medical Center Steeplechase Cancer Center fundraising event at the Stoney Brook Grille on Route 28 in North Branch from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday.
Copies of the song will be available at the event, and all money donated will be put toward the cancer center.
“The song has never been played in public before,” Grant said. “I have been holding off on playing it because I knew we would be having this fundraising event and I wanted it to be the first time I performed it.”
Grant said he and his band will be performing a few sets of music, in addition to the original song that is serving as the theme for the center’s “Day of Hope” fundraiser, which was first held in 2010 to celebrate the lives and resilience of those living with cancer.
“I’m thrilled that the medical center has embraced the song, and they’re excited about sharing it with everyone else,” he said. “For me there’s that, but I also love playing live so much, and I’m excited to get the song out there and see what other people’s responses are.”
Grant, who has lived in Bridgewater for 12 years now, has been a musician for far longer, having started in second grade when he began playing the clarinet. From there, he moved on to the saxophone and then the guitar.
“I fell in love with it and the ability to play,” he said. “I started playing to become a songwriter.”
Aside from his songwriting and the five albums he has released, Grant has his own band, Alan Grant and Primitive Soul, which he put together 16 years ago.
“We play everywhere, all over New Jersey and down the shore a lot in the summer,” he said. “We play corporate and private parties.”
The band also plays gigs as far north as Vermont, among other locations.
“And I’ve had the great pleasure to play with some pretty big names, Bon Jovi and Clarence Clemons,” he said. “My keyboard player tours with Bon Jovi, we are all really seasoned, and we have been playing for almost 30 years.”
But with his newest song debuting Thursday, Grant said, everyone has a cancer story and this song recognizes that.
“It is a really interesting bonding event where people want to talk about their story or their friend’s story,” he said. “Creating a dialogue is good.”
Anyone looking to get a copy of the song can call the medical center at 908-685-2885.