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Profile :: Patresa Hartman

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Patresa = "Puh-TREE-suh"

I’m the third of three daughters to musical parents. I grew up with church choir, barbershop quartets, show tunes, the symphony, military marches, Fifth Dimension, Crosby Stills & Nash, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, my father’s whistling, and The Gaithers. I made music everywhere, all the time. Then, at some random time and for some unidentified reason, my confidence tanked, and I stopped.

Through the entirety of my 20’s and the start of my 30’s, I did anything but music. I finished college and went to graduate school. I cycled through four careers in fifteen years. At one point along the way, I missed music enough to buy a piano for $200 from a thrift store, and I learned chords on a beat-up classical guitar my then-boyfriend-now-husband salvaged from the dumpster of the music store where he worked. Several songs fell out, and I recorded them using an analog four-track and a borrowed microphone. But I didn't play them for anyone.

Over the next several years, I continued to write music that I was too insecure to play for others. Eventually, I recognized what a waste that was. You don't have to be great; you just have to be honest.

I play acoustic sets of mostly original music (some covers), including a monthly Women’s Songwriters in the Round series I cohost with Mary McAdams at the Ritual Cafe in Des Moines. One of my very favorite things in the world is introspection and honesty as vehicles for important human connection. I believe that when we’re honest about who we are--with ourselves and each other--we find good company and validation. I believe good company and validation have magical healing powers. In this spirit, I like to use songwriting as a way to understand my own murky humanity and then communicate that in the most honest way I know how. And that is my extremely exciting story.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for connecting. Hope to see you at a show soon.



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