Five Things

Clarence Bucaro is a singer-songwriter and a one-time stay-at-home dad. It’s rare that anybody asks musicians who are also mothers how they “balance” it all, so I was really happy to talk with Clarence Bucaro about how having children affected his life and career. He’s also encountered some tough breaks over the course of his musical journey, so you’ll hear about those too, and how he made it through. 

On how chess taught him to roll with the changes in the music industry:
“I’ve found that I operate in that way on almost everything that I deal with: very strategic and very protective, yet always thinking many steps ahead. In the music industry — and it’s weird that it ties in with chess but it does — when I started, everything was done for me. It was way back when nobody would put out your own album or do any of that stuff. So I had a manager, I had an agent, I had a label, I had a lawyer, and all I had to do was be creative and make music and show up. And now, the least thing I do is be creative and show up. You have to plan things, you have to think ahead, you have to manage so many aspects.”

How reading Kerouac’s “Dharma Bums” led him to hike the Appalachian Trail:
“That’s where I wrote my first album. I brought a little Martin backpacker guitar, which would have one of the five things had I not errantly given it out at one point, which I deeply regret. But the book directly led me to the trail, which has given me a real sense of the journey, this spiritual journey and the solo journey that you make.”

On the Bill Evans album that consoled him after a professional loss:
“That winter was just a cold winter, and I was afraid to leave my room. I was afraid to start again. And it was this winter where I discovered jazz, I discovered Miles and Coltrane and Bill Evans. And I felt it — it really resonated with me that winter. I needed to get the strength to get back out there. And I remember listening to ‘You Must Believe In Spring’ over and over again and feeling like, yeah, I feel down right now. I don’t see the path to getting back out right now, but I know I will. And I did, once spring came.”

Tara Anderson is the host and producer of Five Things, a podcast about the objects that tell our stories.