Musician explores storytelling through songs

A guitarist blurred storytelling and music during a Pro Cat Cab on Oct. 27, creating a performance that emphasized the human experience.

Cary Judd, a 26-year-old Wyoming-based artist, said that even though he is a professional musician, he considers himself as more of a writer than anything.

His music has roots
digging back to his childhood, when he received his first guitar during a visit to his aunt and uncle’s house in Chicago.

His uncle, who was a police officer at the time, brought him home a guitar that previously belonged to a homeless man who had been found dead, Judd said.

“It was an interesting way to get a first guitar,” he said.

In some ways, receiving a guitar from a deceased homeless man foreshadowed how diverse and eclectic Judd’s musical career would be.

In 2003, Judd started booking his own shows and building his repertoire until he was in a financially viable position to make music his full-time career.

Judd said that storytelling through music was something that had always appealed to him. He said that both his parents and teachers pushed him to pursue writing.

“I consider myself a writer first,” Judd said. “I’m not a brave or diverse musician. Writing is where my talent lies.”

He said that this love for writing soaks into his songs, such as “Apocalypic Love Song,” which stitches words and music together to explore Judd’s worldviews. He said that writing the song was a stream of consciousness-style experience.

“It took less than an hour to write the
completed song,” Judd said.  “It’s about how we see the world and the things that make the world a better place or a worse place—everything from government to money to religion to personal relationships.”

Judd said that being a professional musician and touring to a broad range of places has expanded his worldview.

“I’ve been part of all kinds of bizarre scenarios that happen when you travel across the country,” he said. “I’ve performed for as few as 15 people to as many as 20 thousand people. I’ve met and stayed with audience members, I’ve seen bar fights and I’ve slept on the floor of crack houses. There have been times that I’ve sat down with governors and there have been times that I’ve spent time talking with prostitutes and drug dealers.”

Judd said that he’s incorporating these off-beat adventures into a memoir about his musical life. Before that, he published a how-to manual on touring. He is also in the process of writing a novel, but he said that he isn’t willing to release details about the story yet.

“Writing enables me to see life from the standpoint of different characters,” he said. “It gets to the point that I’m watching the human experience from an alien perspective. And that’s one of the luxuries of being a writer—your mind doesn’t overtake you, but rather, you use it as a tool.”

Joanna Peterson/
Managing editor
Joanna Peterson can be reached at

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