Red Deer musician Jesse Roads is using his time at home to create a charitable single to benefit the Canadian Mental Health Association. (Contributed image)

Red Deer musician Jesse Roads raises mental health awareness during the pandemic

His cover of ‘Lovers in a Dangerous Time’ will benefit the CMHA

Red Deer musician Jesse Roads knows all about the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19 and job loss.

His stress levels are going through the roof since he’s had to cancel his tour dates and become a home-schooling parent because of the pandemic.

“I’m not used to being at home, all of a sudden, dealing with kid stuff and school,” Roads admitted.

“Even my kids are struggling with this. They’re trying to work out why they can’t go out with their friends now…. Just having to explain it to them can be really intense.”

As Roads was pondering “how are we going to get through this?” and considering various home projects to embark on, it occurred to him that millions of people around the world are in the same boat — or even worse off than he is.

“I truly believe mental health, right now and in the coming time, will be quite a situation of its own,” said the musician.

In acknowledgement of the importance of maintaining good head space during this pandemic, Roads decided to record his own version of Bruce Cockburn’s Lovers In A Dangerous Time.

And he plans to give 100 per cent of the proceeds from online sales of his single to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Roads said he rediscovered Cockburn’s angsty 1984 tune while listening to the Barenaked Ladies’ cover version of it.

“I thought, this is a cool song … and my son said to me, ‘Well dad, it is a dangerous time right now.’”

His version — with bass contributions from Red Deer’s Scott Wiber and keyboards provided by Jake Field of the U.K. — will be available for downloading Friday from Spotify, Deezer and TikTok.

Roads is collecting selfies and images of people with their loved ones to work into a YouTube video for the song.

Anyone can submit an image — as soon as possible — to the Jesse Roads Facebook page, where listeners can also hear a 15-second preview of the song. (They can also email

Roads said so many people have visited the page — some 175,000 hits so far — that he was contacted by Facebook to verify his profile.

Cockburn and the Canadian Mental Health Association were tagged about the project, but Roads said they haven’t responded yet — although the association did “like” his page.

Cockburn will automatically get royalty payments through the Internet music distributors each time a person makes a $1.29 download of the new cover version, but all profits from the song will go straight to the mental health association, said Roads.

“It would be cool if I heard from Bruce… It would be great it he would endorse it.”

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