"My dad was a drummer," she says. "When I was little I remember him going out to play with his band on Friday and Saturday nights. He had to wear these shirts with cuff links. When I was really little I was ask if I go sing with him. When I was about 9 or 10, I actually got to go sing with my dad. I've got a picture of me sitting there waiting to go out on stage to perform for the first time. It was the most awesome thing."
Those early experiences solidified Tresa's desire to pursue a creative career. She spent the last two years of high school studying at the Florida School of the Performing Arts, which required an audition for admittance. She passed with flying colors and was accepted into the prestigious arts school.
"It was a great experience for me. Growing up there weren't that many people who were into music and the arts like I was. Going to a school where that's what everybody wanted to do was wonderful."
The creative environment helped the young singer flourish and she began writing her own songs. As her skills developed so did her resolve to make a career as a country music singer. She knew that for that to happen she would have to make the move to Nashville. At nineteen, she and her best friend, also a musician, packed their bags and made the move.
Fame and fortune soon followed.
No, wait. That's the fairy tale version. Like the songs she writes, Tresa's story is grounded in reality. Once she moved to Music City, she and her friend got jobs waiting tables to pay the bills while they honed their craft. Tresa met another struggling musician and fell in love. They were soon married and began having children. Tresa put her career on hold to raise a family.
And they lived happily ever after.
No, wait. That's the fairy tale version. And Tresa's life has been a country song, not a fairy tale. Less than seven years later, she found herself in the same situation many women find themselves in. She had three children, a mortgage, and a marriage going south. Despite all attempts for her and her husband to work things out, their efforts were failing. She began writing to deal with complex emotions of what was ultimately a divorce and rediscovery-of herself and her music.
The songs poured out of her and she began to heal. She knew that music was integral to who she was and had to be a part of her life. She put her life back together with a newfound confidence. Through it all she kept writing. The songs kept getting better and so did her life. She fell in love again and married a man who fully supported her musical career.
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.
"I took a copy of Tresa's demo home to Maryland, and played it for everyone I could," he says. "It was an overwhelming success. I knew then I had to do whatever I could to help this project get legs."
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."
The songs on Tresa's debut range from the radio ready contemporary country hit "Underneath The Wheels" to the old-school bluegrass stomp of "Ain't No Grave." She mixes in the easy groove and catchy melody of "Long Time Comin' Round" with the nostalgia of "Dancin' On Daddy's Feet." Her lilting voice soars on the heartbreaking ballad "Angels Cry" and "Hold On To You," a poignant love song. But the song that may capture Tresa's essence is "I Turn To Country." This ode to a simple, natural way of life rings with a truth that's undeniable.
That's because Tresa is unwavering in her commitment to write and record songs about real life.
"I have to write songs about things I've experienced," she says. "I know some writers can just come up with an idea and write it out of thin air. I can't do that. It has to be something that I've been through or an emotion that I've dealt with. There has to be some kind of truthfulness to a song or it won't resonate with people."
Her music will resonate with country fans, because she's singing their life back to them. She's found the words and the music to communicate the trials and triumphs of ordinary people. She doesn't sing about fairytales, she sings about real life. And Tresa Jordan knows real life.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Country High
2. Angels Cry
3. Underneath The Wheels
4. Dancin' on Daddy's Feet
5. Long Time Comin' Around
6. I Turn to Country
7. Ain't no Grave
8. Sweetwater Road
9. Hold on to You
10. Beyond the Blue