Jared grew up in Indiana, about 45 minutes from Bill Monroe’s music park in Bean Blossom, but unlike others in DMH, his was not a musical family. Not even close.
He started playing bass in 7th grade and continued through high school and college, earning a B.A. with a minor in music from Indiana State University. A teacher there told him that bass players were never out of work. Jared played in everything from rock and country bar bands to semi-pro symphony orchestras, and discovered his teacher hadn’t told him the whole story: although bass players were always in demand, they might not ever be able to afford a house! Jared took a break from music after college to get married and get going on a more stable career path, one that took him away from Indiana. Along the journey, he “discovered” bluegrass music, and his wife bought him his first guitar.
Life changed again in 2002. Now a homeowner in Virginia and a family man with two darling daughters, Jared saw a PBS program that explored how the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 had changed or tested people’s faith in God1. Somewhere near the end, he realized that the program documented the power of music. A man whose mother had died in the World Trade Center testified to the personal impact of soprano Renee Fleming’s performance at the Ground Zero memorial service:
“I think this theme of kind of trying to connect to this deeper spirituality in some desperate hope that there’s something else—there’s something greater—was very much present. And so this incredibly beautiful music actually was extremely comforting. It took us out of the very horrifying reality and transported me to this place of hope that we could aspire for something better, and that perhaps something better does exist, and that whatever was left of my incredibly fabulous mother in that—in that mess was not the end of her spirit.”
That message spoke directly to Jared and struck a chord long buried in his memory about the transformative power of music. Soon after that, he plunked down the money to buy a bass and has been blessed with a widening circle of musical friends ever sinceâ€”varied in styles but united in the power of music to build communities and make the world a better place.
You can now find Jared playing and singing bass with Dead Men’s Hollow on everything from bluegrass standards and gospel to his own original compositions. His song “Prodigal Days” won a Gibson Guitar songwriting contest, for which he was rewarded with (of all things) a Gibson Guitar! Jared’s hard work, spirit of adventure, and original ideas have made him a great addition to the DMH family.
Jared endorses the Chesapeake Bass Viol Shop, Annapolis, MD
1Frontline: Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero. Produced by Helen Whitney, Written by Helen Whitney and Ron Rosenbaum. Transcript at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/faith/etc/script.html