Hello Jarod, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
Yes! I was born and raised in Montana. I grew up playing baseball and fly-fishing as well as enjoying the Montana outdoors, skiing, hunting, rafting, etc. I played college baseball and really tried to turn it into a professional career. After that, I opened up a house painting company and a sailboat chartering company on Flathead Lake (Montana). I also coached high school baseball for a few years. To fast forward a little bit, I then spent some time in Texas where I owned a small baseball academy, and of course, got into the Texas Red Dirt country scene even more! After that, I lived in Boise for a short time where I started my first band, the JGrubb Band, and played all over Boise. My next move was Nashville after meeting a guy named Gary Tackett, Billy Currington’s first lead guitarist, who really encouraged me to make the move. I’m so glad he did!
What made you want a career in country music?
I’ve always been in music. My parents had me in piano lessons from 6 years old and I played the saxophone starting in middle school. I picked up the guitar in college and started writing songs. I spent a year of college in Texas and learned all the Texas country jams, especially Pat Green. I entered the Colgate Country Showdown and won our local chapter with 2 of my country originals. It was the largest chapter of the competition in the nation and I performed for 3,000 people! It was pretty nerve-racking lol. But, I did all that just for the love of it. It wasn’t until I got to Boise, where I felt like if I didn’t start a band, I would regret it. I really got some great encouragement along the way at the right times, especially from Gary Tackett, and I felt like I could have a shot in the country music business.
What is the background story of your debut song “Tiki Bar On The Beach?”
Tiki Bar was actually the very first song I wrote in Nashville. It really came out of just a songwriting exercise to get into the writing habit after moving. Usually, I don’t finish songs I start for workouts, but I did on this one and when I started playing it out live it got a surprisingly good response. I was surprised because I feel like it’s a very simple concept and song, but sometimes “simple” is honest and speaks to people even more than something clever would.
How did you come up with the name “Tiki Bar on The Beach?”
Having just moved to Nashville (when I wrote it) to chase the dream of being a country artist, the concept of chasing your dreams was fresh on my mind. So that’s what the song is about – not being afraid to take a risk and follow your heart. One of my dreams is to own a house on the beach. I thought of what that would be like and where I would hang out and it would be at a Tiki Bar on the Beach. Kind of like Cheers on the ocean. Like the song goes, if you asked me where I would be if I could be anywhere, “You could find me way down south, at the tiki bar on the beach.”
Who are some of your musical icons?
I just love musicians who are pure writers and can perform their own stuff stripped down – just themselves and a guitar or piano. Pat Green was huge for me in Texas, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, John Denver, John Mayer and so many more. Lately Old Dominion too!
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Original. New. Beachy.
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
I have played around a bit here in Nashville. This past year I have landed at Margaritaville on broadway and Margaritaville Hotel. Those are my favorite spots! They fit my style, so I can play the Kenny Chesneys, Jimmy Buffetts, Jack Johnsons and of course my stuff like Tiki Bar. Hopefully, I’ll land at Tortuga Fest and Gulf Coast Country jam this next year.
What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?
I’ve really developed a specific process. Without boring you with all the details (lol); it starts with idea gathering – little snippets of musical thoughts that I put in my phone’s notepad or voice memo. Lots of those come from mowing the lawn. It takes me forever to mow the lawn because I’m always stopping. After that, I turn those ideas into verses or choruses. When I’ve got a collection of those I finish writing the ones I like and trash the ones I don’t. Then, I take time to learn and demo those before I write another batch. It’s a good cycle for me. I feel like it keeps me fresh instead of non-stop writing.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog!! I’ve been blessed with all the people I’ve met along the way who have influenced and helped me and I’m so grateful!
What is one of your favorite quotes? “I learned how to speak the same way I learned how to ride a bike – by doggedly making a fool of myself.” -George Bernard Shaw.