Experience, Strength and Hope through Song

Cover painting “Day Break” by Alice Webb

“These songs are an effective way to carry the message of hope, help and healing to fellow travelers like me AND those who want a deeper and richer understanding of the power of addiction and the promise and possibility of recovery.”

William C. Moyers, VP Public Affairs & Community Relations, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

CD or Digital Download. Pay what you wish!

STREAMING ALERT! You may have heard that streaming a song only pays a fraction of a penny to the artist. If you choose to stream Hope Road AND wish to support our work of spreading the recovery message, please consider making a contribution:

WE WANT THIS MUSIC TO BE HEARD BY ANYONE IN NEED – If you are able, please make a contribution to help offset costs and get this message of hope to more people. Thank you!

LISTEN NOW to selected tracks:

White Flag – A ‘divine intervention’ in the form of a run-in with the law
Chesapeake Bay – Even in sobriety, life can present challenges
The Help I Need is there if I’m honest, open, and willing

John’s Story

During the 1960s hippie movement, the mind-altering substances were part of the culture, part of the adventure. For three days in August of 1969, John soaked up the music, the mud and the vibe at Woodstock, and a few months later decided to drop out of college to get a ‘real’ education. Sacramento to Cheyenne brings to life his years of traveling the country via thumb and freight train.

John settled in a New Mexico new age spiritual community, where he didn’t drink or use drugs for 8 years. When his marriage broke up and he left the group, the drugs and alcohol returned. 

Years later and re-married, he found himself leading The Double Life, one while he was on the road working for the family business, and the other while he was home with his wife and children. John’s Addiction had reached a point where he could no longer get through a day without drinking or using. The inner torture became a War (a song written by his son, Jackson).

In White Flag, John recalls a ‘divine intervention’ in the form of a run-in with the law. His true recovery journey began at Marworth Treatment Center in 1992. His cover of the John Hiatt song Thirty Years of Tears describes the rehab experience.

Subsequent songs on the album show how John has maintained sobriety and spiritual growth through working a 12-step program, Learning to Serve and much Gratitude. Chesapeake Bay acknowledges that even in sobriety, life can present serious challenges. The album closes with the title song Hope Road, which offers encouragement to listeners by describing what’s possible in a sober life.

“John’s journey through these emotional recovery songs is raw and real. I found myself being drawn into my own dark past and the path to peace and sobriety as the inspiration of this message washed over me. It’s a wonderful reminder that true recovery in sobriety is possible.”

– Patrick D.

JOHN DILLON is recognized for his work as producer and co-host (along with his wife Vivian Nesbitt) of Art of the Song a one-hour program about songwriting and creativity heard across America on over 100 public radio stations. His book The 20-20 Creativity Solution gives readers a step-by-step process to enhance their creativity. As a luthier, John has built over 80 custom guitars for the likes of Hank Williams, Jr., Trisha Yearwood, the Mavericks and Steve Earle. 

John lives on a farm in upstate New York with Vivian, her mother, two dogs, two horses and lots of guitars.

Email John: john dot artofthesong at gmail dot com


Heartache and struggle take us by the hand in John Dillon’s new album, HOPE ROAD. With clarity and confident musicality his words, music and images wind us on our way from free-wheeling, indulgent youth to catastrophic heartbreak. Then step-by-step, he walks us back to the road of hope. 

John Dillon’s album is too true to be a happy journey, but the album is full of surprise, gentle humor and honesty. The songs are often sad but hold on… just around the corner there’s new faith, new love, new joy! HOPE ROAD is an album, an experience, that breaks your heart and warms your soul with courage and with hard-fought possibilities. – Michael Oakes, writer/actor/director

Live Performance

John is available to perform HOPE ROAD at treatment centers, colleges, coffeehouses, churches, recovery centers and anywhere the message of recovery is welcome. Email John for more information: john dot artofthesong at gmail dot com

Upcoming Events

LISTEN NOW to John’s Sept 11 interview with Ron Olesko on WFDU’s TRADITIONS here.

Week of Sept 19, various times, many stations: Art of the Song special – Viv interviews John about Hope Road. LISTEN NOW!

LISTEN NOW – Interview with Chris Wienk on WEXT wextradio.org

Sept 25, 9:30 AM (ET) – Jonesville UMC – Recovery Church Service

Sept 29, 7:00 PM (ET) – Jonesville UMC – Special Recovery Event

Oct 16, 3:15 PM (ET) – Friends of Recovery NY Virtual Conference – Presentation on Creative Writing for Recovery

“I love the lyrics… a wonderful way to carry a message of hope for recovery… a new resource for the recovery advocacy movement.”

– William L. White, Emeritus Sr. Research Consultant, Chestnut Health Systems, Past-chair, Recovery Communities United
1. Sacramento to Cheyenne
2. The Double Life
3. Addiction
4. War
5. White Flag
6. Thirty Years of Tears
7. The Help I Need
8. Learn to Serve
9. Chesapeake Bay
10. BYOG
11. Gratitude
12. Hope Road
John performs HOPE ROAD at Conifer Park Treatment Center in New York

Live Performance

“…a wonderful, humble performer whose passion is to share the story of his life from addiction to recovery. Singing songs with lyrics that are meaningful and relatable, he takes the audience along on his personal journey. Many of our folks who are new to recovery (currently in detox or treatment) really resonated with his message, giving them hope.”

– Abagail Bernard, Activities Director, Conifer Park Treatment Center, Glenville NY
Hope & Coffee recovery coffeehouse, Tamaqua PA

“…both fun and poignant for our diverse coffeehouse audience with varied experiences with recovery. As a singer-songwriter, John created a genuine connection with our listeners who head-nodded to his lyrics and toe-tapped to his guitar as he took them on his recovery journey.” 

Micah Gursky, Director, Hope & Coffee, Tamaqua PA