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On A Cloudy Day | The Tao of Jared McCloud | September 2011

Jared McCloud doesn’t mind the rain. He’s so okay with it, in fact, that he wears sunglasses inside, sitting in the coffee shop, looking out at the gray day and grinning. The Connecticut-based musician has been touring behind his newest album, Painful Words of Loving Grace. Traveling solo, with guitars and harmonica, has Jared feeling good. Playing with friends, going to different places. “It’s what gets me up in the morning,” he says, leaning back and giving in to a laugh.

Jared McCloud

How was the show last night at Nectar’s?

It was good. A long time coming. When I started gigging here four years ago I said, “That’s where I have to play.”

Are you coming back to Vermont soon?

Hopefully soon. I’m doing this tour now. My friend Jill Cagney is with me; she’s a singer/songwriter out of Jersey. She put most of the things together here. I put this show here. We combined all the dates. We did a benefit in Jersey. One of Jill’s friends has a son that’s 14 and had brain cancer and beat it. And it came back with a vengeance. We were able to raise two grand for his family, to offset the cost of gas, driving to the city…

It seems the best part of a tour is the stories you get out it.

And the people you meet. I just did a tour with Ernie Halter. He’s a guy that’s been singing for years, and [Justin] Beiber, I guess, covered one of his tunes and he flew to Orange Country when Ernie was playing a show and surprised him backstage. Ernie was like, “Come on and sing the song with me.” Someone put it on Youtube and now he’s uber famous. 14-year-old girls love him. It’s funny how things work out.

Jared McCloud

When did you start making music?

I started playing guitar when I was five. I didn’t get serious about it until high school. I grew up playing in metal bands. It got boring. I was scraping songs I thought were good because they weren’t heavy enough. I started doing whatever came out. Mostly, it was acoustic stuff. At the same time, all these bands were breaking up. I was like, “I’m doing my own thing. I can’t break up myself.”

I made a demo and sent it out to Indies and got picked up. I put out a record in ’09 and started touring. From there I picked up guitar sponsorships. I was like, “I like not paying for things.” I went out and got a pick deal, a string deal.

How do sponsorships work?

There’s a big show I go to every year. You have to be invited, so you either own a music shop or you’re an artist that uses one of their instruments. It’s a weeklong party. Some people will give you a discount, or you pay 20 percent of what it actually costs. It helps me out because if I’m not paying for that, I can pay for more tolls.

What’s your guitar?

Alvarez. I just fell into the company. I guess they just sold the company. Hopefully they stay as good. Years ago I bought one for $250. It’s been dropped. It still plays like a dream. There’s this sound to it.




 

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