'The Beautiful Sounds of Silence'
Tresa Jordan is a singer strong enough to wear her heart on her sleeve, even when it’s bruised and broken. That’s because she knows the transformative power of country music. She knows the greatest songs resonate because they tap into universal themes of love and loss, joy and pain. She knows because she’s lived life. She’s chased dreams and dealt with heartache.
She began recording songs about her experiences, songs about life. She recorded songs about the first flush of love and how it can die. She chronicled a marriage falling apart. There were songs about pushing through the pain and finding true love. Songs about mistakes. Songs about triumphs. She knew she had good songs, but she wasn't quite prepared for what would happen next. She was only trying to write songs that had the ring of truth to them, but she ended up writing songs that would launch a record label.
When her project was complete, her producer, Jim Cooper, played it for Bernie Fowler, who was the financial backer for another Cooper project. Fowler, one of Maryland's most successful homebuilders, flipped over the project.
Cooper and Fowler joined forces with music marketing veteran Todd White to form South River Road Entertainment Group. The company's first order of business was to set up the South River Road record label to release Tresa's self-titled debut album. The 10-song disc doesn't have an electric instrumentation. That's by design. "The sound of acoustic instruments is so beautiful and clear," says Tresa. "You can muddy up songs with a lot of electrics and a big production. My songs lend themselves to an acoustic arrangement. They’re organic, raw and natural. The instruments match the lyrics."
Chatting recently with Tresa, I first asked her to choose the most personal of the all the new tracks on this new album "That would probably have to be “Beyond The Blue”. Almost all the songs I wrote on the record are about my life but that one was written after my divorce so it was a highly emotional time for me. It was one of those that just flowed… those are always my favorite."
Your new album is self-titled ... why? "Well, to be honest, for the life of me, I couldn’t pick a favorite song to use for the title so I just went with my name J."
Please tell us more about your musical youth and how your father inspired you back then "My Dad was in what used to be called, a “country and western” band with an artist down in Florida named Ray Parrish. He would play every weekend and sometimes I would go watch him and loved singing along to those songs. Also, one of my favorites of all time, Dolly Parton was one of my influences as well. I have always loved her J."
Please tell us more about the recording process of this wonderful new album "When we started to lay down the tracks I had in mind that we would keep it simple. The songs are all so personal to me and when I heard how awesome the songs sounded with just the acoustic guitar tracks, that confirmed the fact that I wanted to keep the electrics out of it. I just wanted to keep it as pure as possible. Musicians LOVE the record because the instruments are allowed to breathe. I also wanted to be able and have others be able to replicate these songs on their front porches. It also allows me to play in both the country and bluegrass worlds! I guess being unique in that way has had its drawbacks too because Nashville doesn’t really know how to label me. I guess you could say my music is just universal. Even metal guys seem to like it J"
What would be your ultimate claim to fame thus far?! Well, this was more like a brush with greatness more than anything. There was this one time I was in Lowe’s at the paint counter and there was a man with his back to me who was blocking the paint stirrer bin. So I said. “Excuse me sir… but I can’t get to the paint stirrers, could you please get me one?” He said, “Well, sure honey”. When he turned around I realized it was none other than George Jones. For the first time in my life I was literally speechless J"
Please tell us more about the writing thoughts behind these three new tracks:
'Angels Cry' - This was a song that my friend Regie Hamm brought to me to work on. He had the idea already but wasn’t sure where to go with it. The song was about a young girl who gets pregnant and the struggles she goes through. The song drew me in because my Mom went through that too. The only difference was that my Dad was not like the young husband in the song. My Dad was a good guy J. But the song is powerful and has a great message."
'Dancin’ On Daddy’s Feet' – Well that one is true to life too. I spent hours dancing on my Dad’s feet. It’s one of those memories that will always be one of my sweetest! Now that I’m older that moment is one that I reflect on often and that song is definitely a special one to me."
'Ain’t No Grave' - Well I grew up singing in church so I wanted a good ole gospel bluegrass song on the record and my friend Regie suggested this song. It’s one of those songs that just make you feel good! It’s a fun one to do live too!"
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover today
if asked ... and why?! Funny you should ask because I do an 80’s medley in my live show. It’s a blast to do those songs and hear everyone sing along and reminisce. One of them is “Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher”. I love those 80’s songs…it was a great era for music! I’d even love to do a Journey song sometime ;)"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?!Penguins are absolutely adorable but dolphins are my very favorite. I actually wanted to be a marine biologist but obviously that wasn’t the direction I went!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Tresa's new CD, just answer this easy question: Tresa and a friend once moved to which city, where they got jobs waiting tables to pay the bills while they honed their craft?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 15th with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: TRESA JORDAN SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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