Des Moines-based singer/songwriter, Patresa Hartman, has had a unique music career. As a high school student, Hartman started to express interest in music and songwriting. But right after high school, Hartman developed stage fright and decided to quit.
“I had a big, embarrassing failure at an open jam and decided I just wasn't cut out for it,” said Hartman. But she evidently overcame that fear 16 years later.
In 2011, 36 years later, Hartman and her close friends all picked individual “fear” projects that the group would have to overcome. Hartman choose to conquer her stage fright.
“I found that when you screw up, nothing bad happens,” said Hartman on overcoming her stage fright. It took Hartman three open mic nights to finally feel comfortable on the stage again.
Hartman started to write music in eighth grade due to Debbie Gibson. She continued writing lyrics until college, keeping inspired by friends. Working full time as a school psychologist and a mother, Hartman still manages to find time for her music and songwriting.
Believing that local artists create more “intimate” and close knitted shows, Hartman realizes how one can struggle to record and print financially. Currently tucking away songs for a third, and even a fourth, album, Hartman is waiting till she has the budget to get back into the studio.
Hartman has been all over central Iowa, playing in Ames’ favorites DG’s Tap House and London Underground, while also expanding to Des Moines at the Temple for Performing Arts, where she played with previous All Iowa Arts Showcase artist Ryne Doughty.
Hosting a soul-folk style, Hartman focuses on a rich, blues voice with carefully poetic lyrics. Distinguishing herself from other All Iowa Arts Showcase artists, Hartman is known for a finger-picking, rhythmic foundation of contemporary country and folk. On the piano, Hartman’s roots in gospel and soul dominates.
“Hartman’s a clever writer, an honest story teller and a beautiful singer. ["The Only Way Down"] begs to be played,” said Chad Taylor in Cityview Magazine in 2014.
Hartman’s first album, "The Only Way Down," featuring her song “Messenger," was chosen to appear on "Carpe DSM," a compilation album of original songs from Des Moines. Hartman later released her second album, "Queen of Everything," in 2016 along with a music video in conjunction with the Iowa Ballet Academy.
"Hartman is proudly carrying the torch of the Iowa Sound that dates back decades. Hartman is continuing the roots tradition while cutting her own distinctive groove into the Iowa landscape," said Joe Lawler in Cityview magazine in 2017.
Hartman is to perform alongside Evan Campbell on Friday at the final All Iowa Arts Showcase concert series. Taking place at the Ames City Auditorium, the event is aimed to showcase local music, art and the underutilized auditorium.