100+ Homeless Help Write a Hit Blues Song in New Orleans

Over 100 Homeless Help Write “Hard Times Don’t Hit Me No More” (with Rockin Dopsie, Ewell Smith & Eli Seals)

I want to share with you a very special experience. Little did I know  that when I started “walking the bridge” two years ago offering free medical care and a free lunch to the homeless I would end up doing a jam session with them. (see video above) You just can’t make something like that up. And what an honor to do so.

Over 100 homeless help write song hard times don't hit me no more

Homeless at the New Orleans Mission help write “Hard Times Don’t Hit Me No More” – raising their hands to the chorus

A few months after I started “walking the bridge,” a good friend of mine and filmmaker Steven Scaffidi came up with a wild idea to do jam sessions in clubs and in homes letting the audience help write a hit song in less than an hour. He calls it Hit Me America. He’s asked me to do a jam session for the past year and for whatever reason it’s never happened. About the same time he started asking me about this, I started sharing with Steve details and asking him to come see my work with the homeless through he New Orleans Dream Center and the New Orleans Mission. I wanted him to help us get the word out using his film skills.  And for whatever reason, he too never could make it.

The “Poem” Provided the Inspiration

That all changed when I read to Steve the poem from a homeless guy I met under the bridge (see poem here in previous post).  Immediately following,  I invited Steve once more to visit the mission, and this time he said yes. On his visit, he was so moved by the stories he heard from the homeless and how the Mission had helped turn their lives around, he called me the next day asking me to do this unique jam session. The poem that served as an inspiration for both of us was going to become the foundation of the song that we would create.  As a pr guy, this was a no brainer as a way to help raise awareness for the Mission.  I was in – immediately.  Now we were on the same page.

Rockin Dopsie ,Ewell Smith, Eli Seals and Over 100 homless help write Hard Times Don't Hit Me No More

Rockin Dopsie Jr., TJ Zino, Dustin Hymel, Eli Seals, John Autin, Ewell Smith, Reel Alleman, Terry Gillis, Wanda Grant,Doc Miles, Blain Babeneaux

Steve lined up some of the best artists in Louisiana to help me, an amateur singer/songwriter; together with the homeless we came up with something truly special in just one hour.

It’s also important to note everyone involved in this project donated their time, talent and resources, and continue to do so as we produce the song in the studio.  This song will be registered with BMI and promoted….whether it generates $1.00 or $1,000,000.00, 100% of any proceeds will all go to the New Orleans Mission to support their efforts serving those in need.  Please pray this song when published travels far and wide to help raise awareness of missions across our country.

Here’s the article from The Advocate covering the event:
Local musicians give homeless an opportunity to get in on the act through Hit Me America, New Orleans Mission partnership

Please share this story – it may influence the right person at the right time with the right message providing a slice of hope.  With God’s grace, together we can help those in need. Your help is appreciated for sure.

Thank you,


PS  If you would like to know how you can help change lives through the New Orleans Mission or the New Orleans Dream Center, please contact me any time.  If you just want to ask questions that’s great, too.  Serving there has been a blessing in more ways than I could have ever dreamt.  Again, please help share this video.  I’ll keep you posted when the final version of the song is produced and published.

PPS If you are an independent artist, click Hit Me America and Brotherhood of Independent Music Artists to learn more.


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