Local musician releases record album

Local musician Jar stands with his classic collector hearse. Photograph by Kathleen Payne

Story by Catherine Stachowiak

This spring, longtime musician, Jar, is releasing his latest album titled  “Secret Music for Invisible People.”  The physical final album and the CDs will be available to purchase at Low Sierras Tatoo, in late Spring. At the same location one can currently find some of his previous CDs.

His album can be downloaded by the end of March, early April at all the major streaming platforms. Online, they’re up on Vancamp, where it can be sampled before purchase, he told the Kern Valley Sun, March 16.

The mandolin has become front and center in Jar’s work. 

He likes to write a lot of songs and just take the best because he is brutal on himself about how good he wants the songs to be. He doesn’t want to stop the flow. He said, “So you’ll have in the space of three years maybe 20 or 30 songs and maybe less than ten that you really like. I have a high standard of what I want to put on the record. I basically want every song to be something I think would stand up as a hit record.”

The musician became interested in playing music when he first saw Beatles on TV. “I did see them in the late 60s on videos they put out. I saw Paul McCartney singing and playing base, and that was what I wanted to do,” said Jar.

Much influenced by Led Zeppelin, Yes and Genesis, Jar learned to play as well as he could on bass.  Discovering later it was easier to play Punk Rock and New Wave music Jar began writing songs on acoustic guitar.  

“When I was buying the acoustic guitar, there was a mandolin at the store, and it wasn’t that expensive and it sounded really cool.  And I never really thought that it was going to be a serious instrument. But it later became that. I just loved the way it sounded.”

The songwriter appreciates all kinds of music, even hip-hop and pop. “There will be elements of everything I like coming out of my songs. The mandolin to me should be up front. It should be the main thing. That’s my favorite thing.”

Jar was in his first band at age 13 in Long Beach when a group started their own band, Venus Star and the players taught him how to play proper rock n roll bass.  “Our first audition was to play a gig at Disneyland,” he said. “We played Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream, and we played Listen to the Music by Doobie Brothers, and I think we also played Smoke on the Water.  We never heard back.”  After awhile their band was playing backyard parties and school dances and making $200 a show.

Jar admits he wanted to play the drums, as his first choice of rock n roll instrument, but was prevented from it. So his friends advised him to play the bass, which he bought with his paper route money.  

Jar originally bought his house in Bodfish to use for his personal get away. But he ultimately moved up to Kern Valley when he needed to escape a stressful and potentially violent neighbor in 2014, bringing his cats, with him.  

“It kind of changed my whole world,” he said. The relaxing, natural peaceful environment of the valley helped him write and record more music he was happy with.  “The Kern River Valley has been this healing place for me,” said Jar.