Clarence Bucaro’s music offers us a peek into the human experience; he lays it all down and you can’t deny that his words and music are riveting because he’s been able to strip away all that doesn’t really matter. He gets to the core; the basics. His music speaks for itself. Give it a listen.
To learn more about Clarence Bucaro, check out his website.
Here’s a video of the title track of his latest CD, Dreaming from the Heart of New York.
Clarence Bucaro will be performing at the me&thee in Marblehead, MA on Friday, November 8.
How long have you been in the music business?
I’ve been in music since I was 8 and playing live since high school. I’ve been doing this professionally within the music business since 2001 when I signed my first recording contract and began recording my debut record Sweet Corn.
You’ve lived in a few different places including New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New York. How would you describe the music scene in each of those places?
Los Angeles and New York were somewhat similar in terms of music scenes in my experience. Both cities have an abundance of top notch incredible musicians and songwriters and many venues to support that. Because of the sheer volume in each city sometimes I felt and continue to feel that the thread can get a little lost as far as locating the epicenter of the scene. I really love both cities and the musicians in each and have learned a great deal from both. New Orleans, however, is a whole different animal. Its music scene is very focused and still as vibrant as ever. Any night of the week you can go out and find something that just blows your mind. You can go out for a nightcap on a Monday night at midnight and stumble upon a brass band that you can’t believe you’ve lived without. It’s no mystery why the musical legacy and life of New Orleans continues to inspire and mystify people. I miss it all the time! But all three cities really do have a wealth of musical history and excellence.
Tell us about your friendship with Anders Osborne. What is it about him and his music that resonates with you so much?
In 1999, my older brother introduced Anders’ music and I took a Greyhound bus from Cleveland to Chicago to see him live when I was 18. I became enthralled with his artistry and passion right from the get go. In 2001 when I signed with Burnside Records I wanted Anders to produce my debut record. I sent a cassette tape to his manager and never expected to hear back from him. A couple weeks later Anders called and told me his family and he had been dancing to my tape all week. So the relationship started with him producing my first record Sweet Corn, then grew into a friendship and soon into him offering me a place to stay with him and his family in New Orleans when I needed a place and a change of direction. Anders is a mentor to me, the Godfather of my youngest son and a great inspiration to me. His music is fearless, in constant change and growth and reflects the learning and self-reflection he has in his own life.
Tell us about Dreaming From the Heart of New York. How does this latest work differ from your earlier works?
This record was very different for me. I asked Anders to produce it and he felt right that we needed to strip it down completely in order to unearth what is really there in me both personally and musically. I’m not sure if I was lost, but this process certainly led me to find myself again through this record. It forced me to focus on the basics and the nakedness of my craft in a way I hadn’t since my debut record. The result was a very intimate snapshot and it means a lot to me. It signifies a return to self-discovery and self-confrontation and in my head I view it as another starting place and new foundation to work off of for my songwriting.
Your bio states that you play up to 300 shows a year. That doesn’t leave much time for you to relax and live a fairly “normal” life (whatever normal is). How do you keep your sanity being on the road so much? Are you a books on tape kind of guy? NPR? Silence?
I USED to do that many shows but currently have a very balanced schedule and life. I do between 75 and 100 shows a year and make sure they are well consolidated. I have a family and two boys aged one and two so I like to be home as much as possible. To the other part of the question, being on the road is ACTUALLY my sanity. As being home all day, every day with two infants is mental chaos, being on the road and sitting alone in a car is actually rather peaceful! Sometimes I’ll literally just have silence and enjoy the restoration of my brain 😉 or I’ll make playlists to listen to. Lately I also enjoy listening to comedy like Louis CK while driving. He’s the best! Because I don’t have much time to write anymore but double the desire too, I find travel times to be my most productive in that vein.
Do you have any words of wisdom for singer-songwriters who may be considering plying their musical trade full-time?
Yes, I do. First and foremost, always worry about improving your craft most. The music business and industry can be very distracting and confusing and often times can send you on wild goose chases. At the end of the day in this changing landscape the most important thing and most satisfying thing will be to hone your craft, learn and learn more. Study the greats and try and find out what is special about YOU and then find ways to express that through your music!