Better Know an Artist (Vol 35): Jared Caraway

The dream of the 90’s is alive and well in the DFWd, and Jared Caraway is here to help you reflect on those times. Channeling hometown heroes like the Toadies and Tripping Daisy, along with Weezer, Green Day, and all the other anthem singing heroes of the day, Jared drives home that angsty, crunchy sound you’re looking for. He took the time to sit down and answer those pesky questions we’re always throwing around and it went a lot like this. 1,2,3,4:

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

JC: Music has always attracted me like a magnet – I’ve always loved art in general, but music in particular has always had the strongest pull on me. I think it’s fair to say I’m obsessed with music – I’m a music fan before I’m a music maker – and my compulsion to create is a natural result of that. It’s my passion. As a music fan, I’ve been under no illusion that “making it” as a musician is an easily achievable goal. I remember reading interviews about touring bands – superstars, in my eyes – that were lucky to break even touring on a shoestring budget to pursue their dreams of making new fans while bringing a great live show to their current fans. I think I’ve known my whole life that not only writing, but performing music is something I WANT to do for a living, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve had the resources to start taking real steps to make it happen. (The “for a living” part is as of yet a glint off in the distance.)

What drove me to play guitar was my desire to get that satisfyingly crunchy, dry distorted tone produced largely by Pro Co RATs and Boss DS-1/DS-2s – great example is “Possum Kingdom” by Toadies, which contains one of my all-time favorite guitar tones (and which I cover on occasion). I was also a big fan of the tones the Kinks managed to get out of their amps. I was sorely disappointed, though, when I got a beautiful green, shiny American Fender Strat and a tiny Pignose battery-powered amp…but no distortion! (My desire for distortion was finally satiated when I got a little Peavey practice combo I could crank the drive all the way up on.) For years, I played acoustic guitar because I couldn’t round up a band, but recently I’ve finally been performing with my Strat onstage and building up a pedal board to increase my aural palette. My friends Arik Harris on bass and Frank Gonzalez on drums are very talented musicians, and I’m luck to have them on my team.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

JC: It’s catchy, simple, usually about love or heartbreak (two of my specialties), and often in a major key. My sound is largely influenced by 90’s alternative rock bands, like Foo Fighters and Weezer, with some pop punk, alt-country, and folk elements weaved in. There are almost no solos (although I’ve got one in the works that will feature my first solo when complete). My creative output is just a mashed up version of all the stuff I’ve listened to over the years manifesting itself as something new. To describe my music most generally, I’d call it pop rock or alternative.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

JC: Although it might not be obvious in my songwriting, I was heavily influenced in my early childhood by late 80’s/early 90’s pop country like Diamond Rio, Hal Ketchum, Shenandoah, Clay Walker, Garth Brooks and countless others. Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill was a huge record for me – an addictive blend of angst and accessible tunes which I might dare call a masterpiece. Definitely Weezer circa Weezer (the blue album), Green Day circa Dookie, and most popular rock produced in the mid 90’s (Everclear, Harvey Danger, Lit, blink-182, Tonic, Sublime, and so many more).

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

JC: I’ll say “Weather Me,” which is the title track off of my upcoming debut. It has multiple meanings weaved together into one sort of narrative. It’s one of the quickest songs I’ve ever produced from start to finish, one of the first to prominently feature a picked melody rather than just chords, and it just encapsulates the way I felt at what I now realize was a pivotal point in my life on several different levels. I know that’s kind of a vague answer, but I’d rather leave the specific events and things and people forming the basis of this one up to the interpretation of the listener.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

JC: Probably Brand New. They’re one of my all-time favorite bands, and it would just be an honor to be able to share the same stage as some of my heroes (though it looks like that might not happen unless it’s before 2018 rolls around)

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

JC: I love Animal Bar, based out of Denton. They’re still a pretty new band, pretty young (all under drinking age), but they rock way harder than I probably ever could. Really talented kids – great songwriting and musicianship across the board. If you haven’t checked them out yet, I recommend that you do so. LeQube and Thrill Bill also put on awesome live sets.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

JC: I could agonize over this decision for hours, but I’ll just go with the Toadies’ Rubberneck. Crunchy, gritty, dark, and weird. I can listen to the whole thing from start to finish (and start over again) with ease. 20+ years later, I’m still not tired of it. Alicia Keys’ Songs in A Minor and Saves the Day’s Stay What You Are are a few other candidates.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

JC: Least favorite thing is how saturated the market is, which means you’ve really got to grind and make connections if you want to get noticed and bring people out. But as a music fan, this doubles as a positive – a ton of music for me to consume and enjoy!

My favorite thing is how supportive everyone is of one another, from supporting acts to venue management to sound guys to fans. The music market in DFW is obviously extremely competitive, but it’s not cutthroat. We all want to succeed, but in my experience, most of us also want to make friends and just have a great time, so a lot of us tend to have each other’s backs.

I’m also really impressed with the quality of work and the passion and drive I see coming out of the Dojo (and Team from Nowhere). Donny Domino is a high school classmate of mine, and I’d say his love for music easily rivals mine. Those dudes at the Dojo are making music nearly 24 hours a day. If someone hops off the computer, someone else is jumping on to work on a project, or someone’s stopping by to lay down a few verses. Such a cool vibe. Donny, -Topic, Bobby Sessions, KoolQuise, Xes, Zyah, Sam Lao, all those folks…I’ve got so much respect for what they’re doing.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

JC: Favorite place to play is probably Sundown at Granada. Their brisket tacos are incredible. I love that they have amps available for use, sounds great, staff are friendly…it’s hard to find a negative. Not coincidentally, Granada is still probably my favorite place to see a show, even though I haven’t been there in a few years. I need to go back soon. The sound’s always great there, and it’s hard to find a bad spot in the house.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

JC: I will mention RTB2 every chance I get, because Ryan Thomas Becker is such an incredible guitarist, songwriter, and performer, and their live shows always kick ass. Animal Bar. – Topic. Bobby Sessions. Sealion. Moon Waves. Pearl Earl. And Ashley Somogyi – her songs are very rhythmic and hooky, which I can relate to.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

JC: I was captain of my high school spelling and vocabulary UIL team. I made it to regionals every year and competed in state finals my senior year. I’m a total word nerd.

Thanks a bunch to Jared Caraway for the time. He’s got a bunch of shows coming up under his new band moniker, Jared and the Jewelers. You can catch them this Friday at the Foundry in Dallas with Pearl Earl, and Saturday at Taps & Camps in Denton. There’s a few more later this month and next and you can find those here. Keep an eye out for his debut album and check out his track, “My Calypso”, below.


Granada Theater Announces “Free Week” July 18-24

The Granada Theater has paired up with KXT and the Dallas Observer to bring about a week of free shows at one of the city’s favorite venues. The free shows will run July 18 through the 24th and will be offered on a first come-first serve basis. Also available for you line-skippers, $5  gets you in the door with a beer in your hand (on sale Fri, May 20).

The Schedule?

Tuesday, July 19th
Quiet Company
the Azalea Project

Wednesday, July 20th
the Octopus Project
Son of Stan

Thursday, July 21st
Vaden Todd Lewis (of the Toadies)
Amber Ferris (of Somebody’s Darling)
Brent Best (of Slobberbone)

Friday, July 22nd
Cory Morrow
Driving N Cryin
the Vandoliers

Saturday, July 23rd
Roky Erickson
Natural Anthem
Moon Waves

Sunday, July 24th
Quaker City Night Hawks
Dead Flowers
Oil Boom

Top Shows Coming to Town for 11/20/15-11/26/15

I didn’t update the calendar this week, so I hope I’m not missing anything major. Got some more venues I need to add next time I do update. Again, if I missed your show, let me know, I’m happy to add it. Anyways, here we go. I had Gwar on the list for a second, but with no more Oderus Urungus, so…..

1 Metric w/ Sarah Jaffe & Hibou @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Fri 11/20/15

Emily Haines and the Toronto indie darlings are headed your way, after a recent pass through opening for Imagine Dragons.

2 GZA @ Trees (Deep Ellum) Fri 11/20/15

Gary Grice, AKA GZA, AKA the Genius, AKA the mastermind behind the Wu Tang Clan.

3 Bone, Thugs n Harmony @ Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Sat 11/21/15

And while we’re on the subject of throwback hip hop groups….

4 JD McPherson w/ Parker Millsap @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Fri 11/20/15

JD McPherson is an old soul from Oklahoma. His latest album, Let the Good Times Roll, takes cues from Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and dozens of other old school touchstones of rock n’ roll.

5 Rhett Miller @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas) Sat 11/21/15

I believe this is the Old 97’s frontman’s annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis.

6 Mark Kozelek @ Sons of Hermann Hall (Deep Ellum) Sat 11/21/15

Sun Kil Moon vocalist and guy that Run the Jewels hate, Mark Kozelek, everyone.

7 Blue Healer w/ Jacob Furr @ Sundown at Granada (Lower Greenville) Fri 11/20/15

Blue Healer is a pretty great emerging band out of Austin (members formerly of Sons of Fathers). They were just in Fort Worth supporting Heartless Bastards, but now they’re back for a headlining show on the roof with local favorite, Jacob Furr.

8 the Stone Foxes w/ Vodeo @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth) Sun 11/22/15

The Stone Foxes are a pretty rockin’ bluesy band out of San Francisco. Locals Vodeo (formerly Shake the Moon), who you may be knowing better soon (wink), lend support.

9 James Bay @ House of Blues (Dallas) Mon 11/23/15

the 25 year old British singer swept to popularity with his single “Hold Back the River”, although I thought his commercially successful record, released in March, was kind of disappointing.

10 the Orange w/ Jetta in the Ghost Tree and Moon Waves  @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff) Weds 11/25/15

Quaker City Night Hawks @ Lola’s (Fort Worth) Weds 11/25/15

I’m going with a tie between these 2 great local shows on Wednesday. I guess you should just catch the one near you.

Also in town this week:

Fri 11/20
Gwar w/ Born of Osiris @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas)
Possessed By Paul James @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Vincent Neil Emerson & the Old Souls w/ Josh Newcom @ Adair’s (Deep Ellum)
Rise & Shine (CD Release) w/ Color TV & Natural Anthem @ Three Links (Deep Ellum)
Turbid North w/ Cosmic Trigger, Mountain of Smoke, Brazos River Outlaws & Caddis @ Lola’s (Fort Worth)
David Cook w/ Andrew Ripp @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff)
Shinyribs w/ Grady Spencer @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Moving Units w/ Hope Riot @ the Foundry (Dallas)
Disciple w/ KJ-52, Loftland & the Protest @ the Door (Deep Ellum)
Mayday Parade w/ Real Friends, the Wild Life, & As It Is @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Bart Crow w/ Waterloo Revival @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
JT Habersaat w/ Lisa Friedrich & Mike Weibe @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Gary Myrick w/ Hardcore Troubadours @ Live Oak (Fort Worth)
SoMo w/ Kirko Bangz & Jordan Bratton @ South Side Ballroom (Dallas)
Colin Boyd @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
the Front Bottoms @ Gas Monkey Bar n Grill (Dallas)
Tommy Emmauel @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas)
Ready Revolution w/ Jonny Gray, Victories, Lovesick Mary & Passing a Starfighter @ the Prophet Bar (Deep Ellum)
E.C. Was Here (Eric Clapton Tribute Night) @ Keys Lounge (Fort Worth)
Q and the Crew @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)

Sat 11/21
Vincent Neil Emerson & the Old Souls @ the Flying Saucer (Fort Worth)
Attack of the Funk Fest ft Mountain of Smoke, Spacebeach, FOGG, New Science Projects, Dome Dwellers, Moon Waves, Andy Pickett, Panic Volcanic, Vicious Firs, slumberbuzz, Hate Your Friends, the Flourescents, the Fibs, Lady Kira, Squanto, Nathan Brown & Tornup @ 1912 Club (Fort Worth)
STS9 w/ AutoErotique @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Last Comic Standing Finalists @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie)
Swan Song (Led Zeppelin Tribute) w/ Crowe Showe & David George & the Roaming Soldiers @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville)
Wayne “the Train” Hancock @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Jane Siberry @ the Kessler
Peter Bradley Adams @ Live Oak Music Hall (Fort Worth)
Savoy w/ A.DD+, Nite & Blue, the Misfit @ Trees (Deep Ellum)
the Holophonics w/ Rude King, Bumpin Uglies, BE LIKE MAX & Pasadena @ Three Links (Deep Ellum)
Ricki Derek & the Vegas Six @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
Kip Moore w/ Michael Ray & Chris Cavanaugh @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
Peter Case @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
An Evening of Laughter with Leslie Jordan, Vince Martinez & Sister Helen Holy @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas)
Stereo Control @ the Foundry (Dallas)
Amaranthe w/ Butcher Babies @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas)
Attic Ted w/ Gay Cum Daddies, Lauryn Belmore and Darcy Neal & Psychic Killers @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
the Bodarks w/ Larry Hooper @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
4 Way Street (CSNY Tribute) @ Keys Lounge (Fort Worth)

Sun 11/22
the Ataris w/ Red Like Heat & Birds of Night @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas)
Kenny Uptain @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott @ Live Oak (Fort Worth)
A Loss For Words w/ Seasons Change @ Sons of Hermann Hall (Deep Ellum)
Victor Manuelle @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Phil Vassar w/ Madison King @ the Kessler (Oak Cliff)
Carmen’s…Everyone Can Sing with the Band w/ Stefan Prigmore @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
Black Dog Jazz Jam @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
Kim Nall w/ Western Skies @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)

Mon 11/23
the World is a Beautiful Place… w/ Foxing @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill (Dallas)
Open Mic Night w/ Luke McGlathery @ Lola’s (Fort Worth)
Jeff Satterly & Darrin Kobetich @ the Grotto (Fort Worth)
Edhoculi w/ Ex-Breathers & Gnarwhal @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Paul Slavens and Friends @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
the Dirty Irv w/ Lights Out @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
Jody Jones Songwriting Showcase @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth

Tues 11/24
Highly Suspect @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum)
the Texas Gentlemen @ Lola’s Saloon (Fort Worth)
Cody Culberson @ Live Oak Roof Top (Fort Worth)
Blind Guardian w/ Grave Digger @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas)
Tatsuya Nakatani + Michael Doneda w/ Lily Taylor, Sarah Ruth, Beth Dodds, Sam Friedland & Reece McLean @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
E.C. Jacob and the Green Hour Residency @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)
Ronda Ray w/ the Spud & Mo Show @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)
Matt Tedder @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Like a Storm w/ From Ashes to New Stitched Up Heart @ Trees (Deep Ellum)
Straight Ahead @ Scat Jazz Lounge (Fort Worth)
CoLab Friday’s Foolery @ Three Links (Dallas)

Weds 11/25
Snarky Puppy w/ RC and the Gritz & Shaun Martin @ the Prophet Bar (Deep Ellum)
the Vanity @ House of Blues (Dallas)
Devin the Dude w/ Potluck @ Gas Monkey Live (Dallas)
Rock and Roll Over (KISS Tribute) w/ Infestation @ House of Blues (Dallas)
the Good Life @ Dada Dallas (Deep Ellum)
Mac Miller w/ Tory Lanez, Michael Christmas & Njomza @ the Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum)
Kevin Fowler @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
the Dick Beldings @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Pavel Chekov w/ the Noids @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Uver @ Dan’s Silver Leaf (Denton)

Thurs 11/26
 Luke Wade @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth)
Ryan Tharp @ Magnolia Motor Lounge (Fort Worth)
Are You Sick of Your Family Yet? @ Rubber Gloves (Denton)
Frenchie’s Blues Destroyer @ Adair’s Saloon (Deep Ellum)

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!