Jared McCloud
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Jared McCloud


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Jared McCloud presents "Painful Words Of Loving Grace""

With the release of his latest album, PAINFUL WORDS OFLOVING GRACE, Jared
McCloud has allowed his metallic roots to peek out through the shimmering resonance of his acoustic rock. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an album of volume, spittle-accented declarations and rage, it’s a collection of tender moments, provocative questions and real-life narratives, but it is fueled by the same ferocious passion that drives hard rock. Imagine for a moment, all of that speaker-blowing intensity turned inward, shredding the artist down till there is nothing left of him but the purity of his being. That’s what this album is. Jared puts everything he has out there and quietly wonders “if anyone’s listening.” Quite a moving experience.

There’s a definite troubadour feel to this album. It’s easy to imagine McCloud traveling the country and singing his stories in rustic bars to attentive blue jean
and beer type folks. “Long Way Home” is a gently chugging roadtale with some tasty guitar licks trailing behind the chorus that somehow manage to capture the
feeling of looking in your rearview as you drive away. “Ballad of Xavier J.” is a stirring story with poignant verses and a memorable chorus.

On “Behind Doors Closed,” Jared kicks up the energy a little, not too crazy, but enough to get your foot tapping, shoulders rocking and head bobbing with the savory
twang of southern-flavored rock. However, it’s “The Current State Of Things To Come” that steals the album’s spotlight. The track establishes and maintains a precise balance of rhythm, emotion, melody, lyric and lift to offer a truly rewarding listening experience. PAINFUL WORDS OF LOVING GRACE is raw and real, you can hear the scrape of flesh across steel and taste the soul of Jared’s passion as
he performs. Bold, vulnerable and genuine. - Songwriter's Monthly


A little background before I start this review. I've known Jared McCloud for a little while now. I reviewed his album Romance Of The Atlantic a while back and even got the opportunity to play a rain soaked show on bass with him (an amazing experience). Throughout the time I've known Jared he's always given me a hard time that I gave his last album only 4 stars out of 5. So when it came time to review his newest release, Painful Words Of Loving Grace, I knew he really wanted 5 stars on it. I knew of the hard work he poured into it. And as much as I wanted to give him 5 stars I couldn't bring myself to do it just out of mere friendship.

My mind was put to ease when I popped in the CD and was immediately drawn into his newest creation. It begins with the subdued Awake, backed only by an acoustic guitar and Morse code (yup, Morse code). It's a excellent way to intro the album. But the second track, The Current State Of Things To Come is when I realized that Jared has grown considerably as a song writer. It still retains the “Jared McCloud” sound while introducing interesting chord changes and a more mature vocal melody.

Jared wears his emotions on his sleeve for the majority of the album. Opening his heart but never sounding vulnerable. And Jared's band rises to the occasion as well. Dan Xenatro's bass is stellar in The Comet and really creates the atmosphere of which the song floats above. Drummer Marc Charette again shows himself to be the rock behind Jared's often unorthodox chord structures.

The stand out track for me is the rocker Behind Doors Closed. A simple, yet in your face pop-sensible anthem. It's a modern take on post-grunge alternative from the mid to late 90's. Followed by a folky and well picked Only Chemicals and Baby's Sweet Lullaby. The album closes on No Place For Lovers, an ethereal, bluesy track looking for hope in a hopeless world.

It's hard to compare Jared McCloud to any contemporary artists. And that's a good thing. The majority of the album is acoustic rock, but touches of electric guitar hide around many corners. He blends rock, folk, pop and even touches of traditional Irish music into his songs of life, pain, love gained and love lost. The production on the album is stunning. This is an album that is never comfortable being a “local band” CD. It's clear Jared is shooting for far bigger things. And I would easily say he succeeded.

Jared has asked me time and time again why Romance Of The Atlantic only received 4 stars and I've told him it was missing something. But I could never quite put my finger on what exactly it was missing. Well, Jared, THIS is what was missing; you found it. Painful Words Of Loving Grace contains the intricacies and complexities of a seasoned song writer while retaining the pop-catchiness of an accessible rock record. I'm proud to give this album 5 stars.

- CT/MA Music

"Review: Jared McCloud - Romance Of The Atlantic"

Jared McCloud spent several years playing in bands on the hard rock/metal scene in southern New England before making a go of it on his own. The Winchester, Connecticut singer/songwriter has made rapid progress in building a fan base, graduating to larger and larger stages in quite quickly. 2009 sees the release of McCloud’s solo debut CD, Romance Of The Atlantic. McCloud displays unusual talent in the crafting songs, and most readers are likely to be at least a little intrigued upon hearing him sing.

Romance Of The Atlantic is a confounding record. I really like Jared McCloud's songwriting style. He shows a lyrical and musical ethic not dissimilar to that of a young Springsteen, yet wallows in love songs ad nauseum (particularly on the second half of the disc). I like the bare-bones aesthetic of the album, yet hear numerous places where the creative tension of writing with others would flesh out his songs in wonderful ways. Finally, as much as I try to like it, I have a hard time with the nasal quality of McCloud's voice. Consequently I find myself very conflicted about Romance Of The Atlantic.

McCloud is a strong lyricist and a tremendous guitar player (check out the guitar work in songs like Colors and Under Midnight Star to see what I mean). He has a talent for capturing moods (NYC Song) and people (St. Catherine's Anthem) in song while holding nothing back. He even writes compelling and interesting ballads (Only A Reminder, Starlight & Fireflies), but gets bogged down in the overly emotional mess he weaves at times (Here, At The Edge Of The World). Starlight & Fireflies is my favorite song here, although its one of the tracks that needs some tension in the creative process to really reach its potential. St. Catherine's Anthem shows McCloud at the height of his lyrical and story-teller prowess, while NYC Song creates a moment so real you can feel it.

Jared McCloud is a mass of contradictions on Romance Of The Atlantic. He sounds to me like a nasal version of Liam Gallagher, and I had a hard time getting by the voice (which in itself wasn't bad, I just couldn't get past that nasal quality). The songs are a mix that runs from great to average but grating. I think it’s safe to say that while McCloud has essentially found a sound he may still be refining the process a bit. When everything clicks, Romance Of The Atlantic has moments of brilliance. Most of the disc consists of smaller peaks and troughs amid the highs and lows. I think listeners will find a lot to like on Romance Of The Atlantic, and whatever comes next is likely to be even better.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
- Wildy's World

"Jared McCloud, Romance Of The Atlantic"

May 26, 2009

Jared McCloud’s sophomore album, “Romance of the Atlantic,” offers a look into his story – one of working towards stardom, as well as the difficult journey of a musician who has to hit the road and leave a loved one behind.

A combination of acoustic and light rock, this disc is smooth and soothing. In “Colors,” McCloud seems to be directly talking to his audience in sing-song tone, making the listener feel a sense of personalization – “Colors ran from the pages, leaving words clear and blatant…well I had too much to drink, I can’t think, I shouldn’t say these things I know.”

After releasing his 2005 debut, “1717 Vine St.”, McCloud hit the road and performed across various venues in Connecticut and New York City to promote it. Inspired by his own personal quest for the spotlight, “Romance of the Atlantic” was born.

“St. Catherine’s Anthem” is a song of homecoming as a result of hitting the stage. “I’m gonna see my name in lights & when the smoke clears I’ll feel a little less foggy…I swear I’ll make it there if I gotta crawl. I’m coming home.”

The continual sincerity of a starving artist is felt throughout the CD. McCloud again mentions “seeing his name in lights” in “NYC Song” and saying yet another goodbye before hitting the road – “A kiss before leaving, I’ll make something of this life before long…”

“Only a Reminder” is a song of escape—to get away from the world and just be truly alone to enjoy each other’s company. “There’s no way this plan is wise, but my full tank of gas and restless mood would argue otherwise…It’s not like me to be impulsive but I don’t know when I’ve ever felt more alive and terrified.”

Jared McCloud’s genuine feelings are reflected in “Romance of the Atlantic,” and can be widely understood by any artist, or one that knows one, in the music industry. His innocence is refreshing, compared to others who enjoy solely the “perks” of the entertainment business (i.e. groupies and freebies).

For more on McCloud, check out www.jaredmccloud.com

Author: Erika Y. Gradecki - Skope Magazine

"Jared McCloud"

Jared McCloud, Romance of the Atlantic (Sling Slang Records, slingslang.com). This full-length album is essentially a singer-songwriter's disc — the full-band arrangements (McCloud plays most of the instruments himself) bolster and color the songs in a way that sounds purposeful and tasteful, and McCloud's voice and adept acoustic guitar-playing carry the show.

His introspective coffeehouse pop-rock approach is mellow but not limp and his vocal delivery sounds earnest and passionate. There's something in his diction and the trebly tone of his tenor that facilitates getting lost in how he's singing rather than in what he's singing. The voice doesn't vary much. That — and a substantial mid-album stretch short on distinctively hooky melodies — makes the songs run together. Listeners who dig the mood he sets might not mind that effect, but one wishes McCloud's melodies were as forceful as his singing and playing.

—Brian LaRue - New Haven Advocate

"Review: Jared McCloud, Romance Of The Atlantic"

Alt-rock singer/songwriter from Connecticut, Jared McCloud really shines with his new CD Romance of the Atlantic. Jared brings a clean pure sound with a no B.S. approach to his music that is bound to get you off your seat to dance. A favorite of mine is the track "NYC Song" which is a song any New Yorker can embrace. To sum it up, this CD is a joy to listen to and really captures the soul. The world needs more musicians like Jared McCloud. - Broken Records Magazine


My next guest defines the term, “DIY.” Jared McCloud is a singer/songwriter by way of Connecticut. I caught wind of his music from his new album, ‘Romance of the Atlantic.’ Jared used to run with hard rock bands for many years, but decided to go solo. Since 2005 he has put out two full albums and has played venues all over the northeast United States. The music he plays is deep & personal and the tempo is laid back. Jared has got huge potential and he does music for all the right reasons so check him out!

Stoli: Your name Jared McCloud is very catchy. Is that your real name and what is your family ethnic background?

McCloud: Thanks! Yes, it’s real. McCloud is actually my Mother’s maiden name which I took some time ago. That’s Scottish, but I know that I have a little bit of everything in my family tree… kind of a mutt I guess.

Stoli: You are based in between Boston & NYC in Connecticut. How has that location helped you to make new fans all over that huge area?

McCloud: It’s been great! You can be in a major market city in about two hours in each direction. I have been steadily getting more and more people to shows in these markets, and since it’s so close, I can count on a few from back home to show up too. That helps when you are trying to get your foot in the door of certain clubs.

Stoli: Your songs are deep & personal. How much of your personal life do you put out there in your lyrics?

McCloud: I think that it’s sort of impossible for me to not write a song that isn’t personal. They are usually about something that I went through, or an event that happened in my life, or one that I wish could happen- like a conversation that I never got to have with someone for some kind of closure. Most of my songs have direct quotes from conversations, or narratives to them, describing things that happened to me. I think that is what makes playing them so cathartic- when you write something so deadly personal and someone else can take it and it means something to them, even if they miss your initial point… it’s the best feeling in the world. Like, you aren’t alone. It’s the reason I have to write songs.

Sometimes they are topics that haven’t directly happened to me, but I put myself in the situation and think how I would feel. Like my tune “St. Catherine’s Anthem”, I had the initial idea for that when I was in Montreal. There is a serious homeless problem up there, and it just kind of got to me after a while. One day I was walking around and saw an older man just talking to the air, and I thought well maybe he is talking to someone that I just can’t see. So months later I was playing guitar somewhere and came up with the riff and for whatever reason this man pops back into my head, only this time I put myself in his place.

I thought, well maybe he is talking to his wife… maybe she died a while ago, and he couldn’t deal with it and got into addiction and lost everything. Maybe he ended up on the street and now he is ready to go and be with her, but it’s OK because he is happy about this decision. It’s kind of a sad topic but really a happy song too. So even when they aren’t directly about me, there is still a piece of me in them.

Stoli: You started out in hard rock bands but then went solo. What was the main driving force to do that and are you pleased with the result?

McCloud: That was a hard decision to make but I am certain it was the right one. I had played in heavier bands for years and I loved it, but after a while you would come so far and someone would get an ego or have a problem with something and there that went. You would have to start all over, all new people, all new songs. It got VERY frustrating after awhile. So I finally decided that I was just going to be a solo artist, use my name, and write everything.

I put together a backing band after I made my first record and did pretty well with it, but that started to fall apart just as the other ones had. Also around this time my tastes really started to change and I was writing a lot of acoustic, solo material that I started to scrap as it wasn’t heavy enough to fit this pigeon-holing mold that I thought I had to be in. So you have members starting to lose interest and a lot of solo material coming out of me. Some of the last shows I played with those guys I tried out some solo tunes and afterward people would come up and want to know if they could buy the record with those songs on it.

Then I had a show which was a pretty big deal for me, and a thousand and one things went wrong in the weeks leading up to it; two drummer changes, a last minute bass player add, about ten new songs… not a good start! We finally play the show and the crowd seemed to like it but in my mind it did not go great at all, which to me is like the end of the world.

So the next day I decided that I was going to write some new songs, make a really lo-fi demo and just play shows, me and a guitar. I think it was the best decision I could have - Skope Magazine

"Singer/Songwriter who got started as a joke in town"


When Jared McCloud was five years old, his brother gave him a guitar as sort of an adolescent prank, but what the elder McCloud didn’t realize was that he was setting his younger sibling up for success.

Click the thumbnails above to see the full size pictures.“He and his buddies were having beers and laughing at me,” Jared said, “but I liked it.”

McCloud then spent years practicing by plucking out ’80s metal tunes by ear, and experimenting on his own, mimicking whatever styles he could lay his ears on, including blues, jazz and classical.

Born in Bedford, Texas, but having grown up in Connecticut may have also had an effect on McCloud’s music.

Having only ever had what he called “a handful” of lessons, he played in hard rock bands in high school, headlining his first show at the age of 15.

“It was a fundraiser for a homeless shelter,” McCloud said, “but it was really good experience.”

McCloud dedicated even more time to his musicianship (he also plays piano) once he graduated from high school.

Playing clubs, large and small, mainly in the northeast, he said he has whittled down his style of music to more of a singer-songwriter , folk approach. He lists the chief influences of his original music as Tom Waits and Chris Whitley, as well as Motown artists that his mother listened to, like Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. Of his hard rock influence, he joked, “It does creep it’s ugly head in sometimes.”

McCloud signed with Connecticut Indie label Sling Slang Records, and is awaiting the arrival of his just-recorded CD, “Romance of the Atlantic,” due to hit the streets in about another month.

Amidst another tour, as McCloud always seems to be, he recently came from the Millenium Music Conference in Pennsylvania and a show at the Annex in Manhattan. He is also looking forward to the Cape May Singer/Songwriter Festival in March.

McCloud plays at Corey’s Catsup & Mustard, 623 Main Street, Manchester on Feb. 21. Call 432-7755 for more information on that appearance.
- Manchester Reminder

"Jared McCloud- Romance Of The Atlantic"

So, this review is going to be a little different from the previous reviews on this site. As I received the album, Romance Of The Atlantic, I also found out that they would be playing an opening spot for Frank & The Beans at All Stars in Manchester. Torn between whether I should do a CD review or a show review, I decided to do both!

First, the CD. Upon opening the case I loved the fact that the actual CD was made to look like an old beat up vinyl record, right down to the broken chip. Gotta say, I have a lot of old vinyl that looks just like this disc, so I loved it.

The album itself is much lighter than their live show. But we'll get to that in a moment. Jared McCloud's sound can be described as the music and song writing of the Goo Goo Dolls and the vocal sound of Jon Bon Jovi. And Jared is a very competent guitarist as he is a lyricist. The album's opener, Colors, is a great show of his talent as a musician and as a song writer. It's a bare bones number, just guitar and vocals, but it's a powerful opener to the album.

The album's second track, St. Catherine's Anthem, opens up a bit adding a kick drum and percussion along with keyboard to thicken up the sound. This trend continues and it was the album's third track, Hides My Eyes, and fourth, NYC Song, that made me realize what a great song writer Jared is. But not while I was listening to the album. It wasn't until a few hours after that I realized I was still singing the tunes in my head.

The album does get a bit repetitive as it moves along, but is far from forgettable. Jared has put together a solid record of heartfelt and emotional acoustic pop tunes that are sung with conviction and honesty.

Jared's live act, however, is quite different... in a good way. His band, Marc Charette on drums and Dan Xenatro on bass, are equally talented and present a different side to Jared's music. I caught them on what they described as an 'off night.' Jared was sick but still came out to rock All Stars in Manchester. There's nothing more rock & roll than a singer that will power through their illness to get their music out. But if Jared had not told me he was sick, I doubt I would have realized. He sounded great, if not better than on the album. And the band gave a different dimension to the music I heard on the CD. Marc's drums powered through the songs and energized them without being overbearing. And Dan received his own applause, including several shout outs for a bass solo (which we never treated to; maybe next time). He also played mandolin on several tunes.

Jared McCloud is a great example of a Connecticut artist truly working for his art. Starting in mid February, Jared will launch a club tour in Connecticut and perform in NYC, Asbury Park, NJ, Philly, Washington DC, Virginia Beach, VA, Charleston, SC, Atlanta, Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and State College, PA. It's always refreshing to see a local artist who truly believes in his craft. And judging by his new CD and his live show, he has a lot of reason to believe.

For more information on the band, check out their site at www.jaredmccloud.com
- CTMAmusic.com


"1717 Vine St." 2006
-Independently released.
-"Release Me", "Dead & Gone", "Just A Habit" all
played on 106.9 WCCC

"Romance of the Atlantic" 2009
-Released on Sling Slang Records
-Recieved airplay on:

"Painful Words Of Loving Grace" 2011
-Independently Released
-"Behind Doors Closed" reached #1 on The Penguin



Jared McCloud's natural, earthy tone and thought provoking lyrics showcase his talent and ability to draw his audiences into his story. Starting his musical career in "Hard Rock/Metal" bands, Jared decided to go solo, and released a self produced record while playing all over his native Connecticut to promote it. Honing his skill in small venues and coffee houses alike, Jared grew his fan base and wowed large music halls with his live performances.

A mix of influences from Tom Waits to Chris Whitley, Springsteen to Motown, crowds started to take notice of McCloud's unique brand of songwriting. Picked up by Sling Slang Records in 2008, McCloud recorded a new record in a different direction than his hard rock past. "Romance Of The Atlantic" was released in May of 2009 and was immediately embraced by critics and fans alike. McCloud began actively touring all over, from the Northeast to the Midwest, as well as performing on radio and television, and shared stages with national acts like Candlebox, Vertical Horizon, Griffin House, Ingram Hill, Tony Lucca, Keaton Simons, and Civil Twilight as well as toured with Ernie Halter. His "Indie Label debut" found success on college and nation radio, as well as gained attention from national critics and secured him endorsement deals with Alvarez guitars (McCloud's favorite acoustic), SIT Strings, FootBass, Corona, and Steve Clayton pics.

With this arsenal of heartfelt, passionate songs, his "anytime-anywhere" gigging attitude, and a new record, recorded with Jason Rubal (Dresden Dolls) of Seventh Wave Studios and released in early 2011, expect to hear a lot more from Jared McCloud.

*WINNER Hartford Advocate's 2010 "Grand Band Slam" Best Folk Category!*
*WINNER My 411 Source "Best of '09" Best Folk Category!*

*Nominated for FIVE categories in the Hartford Advocate's 2009 "Grand Band Slam"!*

"Jared McCloud is that rare thing; an artist that just cannot be compared to any of his contemporaries. His musical spectrum is about as broad as it is possible to be as he encompasses practically every rock sub-genre you can imagine. I would say that he is a talent and that this album is not far off astonishing but that wouldn't even begin to do him justice."
- John Edden, AltSounds.com

"Imagine for a moment. all of that speaker-blowing intensity turned inward, shredding the artist down till there is nothing lift of him but the purity of his being. That’s what this album is. Painful Words Of Loving Grace is raw and real, you can hear the scrape of flesh across steel and taste the soul of Jared’s passion as he performs. Bold, vulnerable and genuine. Quite a moving experience"
- Allen Foster, Songwriter's Monthly

"...a strong lyricist and a tremendous guitar player, McCloud shows a lyrical and musical ethic not dissimilar to that of a young Springsteen. He has a talent for capturing moods and people in song while holding nothing back. When everything clicks, Romance Of The Atlantic has moments of brilliance, and whatever comes next is likely to be even better."
- Wildy Haskell, Wildy's World

"McCloud’s genuine feelings are reflected in Romance Of The Atlantic, and can be widely understood by any artist, or one that knows one... His innocence is refreshing, compared to others who enjoy solely the “perks” of the entertainment business (i.e. groupies and freebies). The continual sincerity of a starving artist is felt throughout the CD."
- Erika Y. Gradecki, Skope Magazine

"McCloud's arrangements bolster and color the songs in a way that sounds purposeful and tasteful, and his voice and adept acoustic guitar-playing carry the show. Jared's introspective coffeehouse pop-rock approach is mellow but not limp and his vocal delivery sounds earnest and passionate."
- Brian LaRue, New Haven Advocate

“To sum it up, (Romance Of The Atlantic) is a joy to listen to and really captures the soul. The world needs more musicians like Jared McCloud”
- Noella Tarquino, Broken Records Magazine