Highlighted recently on In Search of a Song was the award winning singer-songwriting, husband/wife duo, ‘The Cloers’ – ‘Named Singer/Songwriter of the Year by the North Carolina Music Awards’. They were one of the recent winners in the ISOAS Sonic Bids Searchlight Contest for their song submission, ‘I Want to Say’, and we had the opportunity to get to know them as Executive Producer, Rich Reardin, interviews the couple to share their story of life and music.
After having listened to this episode, and without going into a lot of detail about their early influences/musical training, I think John & Cate Cloer have journeyed down an interesting life path in their musical career. It’s far more enlightening to listen in on the interview and hear about the evolution of their musical talent and early formative experiences because it’s so informative and personal. The Cloers are special for a number of reasons, but one of the interesting facts revealed is that the two, age 14, crossed paths through meeting at church, and immediately developed a bond to play music. Later they would marry, attend college together, and have been performing ever since. So it’s a real testament to say they’ve been joined at the hip since their teenage years, and throughout their whole musical career. It’s one of those fated relationships.
Even though John & Cate Cloer were very talented vocally and instrumentally, they lacked the skill/experience of songwriting. It would take them years of experimenting with various styles of music, playing Christian to pop/rock, as well as performing in bands before and after college, before they developed the desire to carve out their own style musically and write their own songs. A personal choice was made in their 30’s to take a hiatus from performing, and over several years they began to seriously study the craft of songwriting by referring to written books, attending workshops, and taking advantage of any resources that were available. Aside from becoming well adept at songwriting, they also became involved with their Local Arts Council, and have been the recipients of two Regional Artist Project Grants. The Cloers have also acted as directors on the North Carolina Songwriters Co-op and the local Cultural Arts Grants Panels. It’s a great payback means to educate and provide mentorship for up and coming artists.
On March 1, 2013 they released their debut album, ‘The Wanderlust’, featuring a mixture of pop/rock songs, “well crafted with pensive lyrics”. Their songs are inspired from personal experiences, relatable to everyone, and frequently evoke heartfelt responses from their audiences. One such song featured on this episode that I really like with its emotionally ladened lyrics, is called ‘The Best Ones’. It was written to shine light on the common tragic, but avoidable, deaths of youths they heard of (we all do) happening every year. “Sometimes the best ones die young, there’s nothing we could have done.” The songs featured on this episode are a good collection taken from their new album, an easy listen, melodic and lively, with great vocals, harmonies, and instrumentation. If you listen in you’ll also hear a recorded rendition of Cate Cloer, age 3, singing with pizazz, “The Crystals – Da Doo Ron Ron.”
We sometimes tend to think musical artists want that public acclaim and all the fame that goes with it but some don’t. For some artists it can be as simple as the joy of just creating something meaningful, educational, or inspiring to others, and sharing it. Currently this couple is studying English (ESL) with the intention to teach internationally, and take their music with them. It’s a great way to travel and introduce their music to the masses without the pressure of finding an income. For John & Cate Cloer, it’s all about maintaining a balanced life. I’m sure they’ll come back refreshed with a collection of newly inspired penned songs and who knows how their music will then evolve.