Country Crooner

Henry County’s Bales
pursues singing career

He says winning regional
‘Texaco Country Showdown’ was a big boost

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(October 2012) – For many people, “birthday music” means being treated by their friends to a slightly off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” or being serenaded by the wait staff at a favorite restaurant. However, for his 23rd birthday, Jordan Bales provided his own unforgettable soundtrack by taking home first place in the local level of the Texaco Country Showdown.
“It was a good birthday,” Bales said, laughing.

Jordan Bales

Photo provided

Jordan Bales says he was
inspired to pursue music by
his mother, Becky Bales.

Each year, more than 50,000 contestants compete across the country at local shows for the chance to move on in a contest that has helped spark the careers of singers such as Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert. Country music radio station WIKI 95.3 presented the Madison contest, which included two preliminaries before the final show took place Friday night of the Madison Regatta in late June. Bales showed off his multi-instrumental talents during the finals, providing guitar accompaniment for“Whistling Dixie” and getting on the keyboard for“Redneck Angel.”
Bales believes that his high energy Jerry Lee Lewis inspired performance helped get the crowd excited and cement his victory. His act set an untouchable bar that evening since he was the first performer of the contest to sing.
“I didn’t know I was the first person on the list to go,” Bales said. He had to race to put the finishing touches on his equipment before taking the stage to impress the audience and judges.
Bales advanced to the state contest at the Indiana State Fair on Aug. 18 but did not win there.
While Bales has spent some time in front of a recording microphone, he prefers the experience of singing live. “I’d rather play in front of a live audience instead of in a dark room singing to the walls,” he says. He started off singing in the fields while working or during horseback rides before deciding to “step out of the shower” and start focusing on his music and songwriting.
Bales said he hopes to make music his full-time profession, but he hasn’t lost sight of what got him performing in the first place. He describes his main focus as to “just play out as much as we can; that’s what I want to do. The main goal is to have fun.”
For the Henry County, Ky., singer, part of the fun of performing is the fact that it allows him to travel and meet other people who are excited about music. Indiana music lovers have come to know his songs through the Ross Country Jamboree in Scottsburg, Ind., or by singing along to his “Running on Empty,” which has been getting air time on Scottsburg’s country music radio station, I-105.3. While playing the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last year, Bales gained some South Dakota fans who will be flying him to Minnesota to perform at a benefit for children with diabetes. For those wanting to catch a show a bit closer to home, Bales will be performing with his band Sept. 1 at Scriber’s Station in Eminence, Ky., and then at Goose Creek Wick’s Pizza in Louisville.
Bales comes from a family where his musical talents were encouraged at a young age. His mother, Becky Bales, explains that, “Music is my passion and something I didn’t really discover about myself until I became a Christian – something that God had put in me.”
She made it a priority to see that her children, who were also musically gifted, received training starting them off on piano lessons when they were age 6 or 7. Today, Bale’s younger sister, Moriah, provides background vocals in his newly formed band.
It was Bale’s mother who first learned about the Texaco Country Showdown from an article she read in the RoundAbout, and then encouraged her son to enter.
“The experience in this stage of his pursuit of a musical career seemed like a good fit,” she explains. She appreciates that Bales has the ability to write songs that are touching and thought provoking, while others are more lighthearted and focus on simple pleasures.
“It comes from a real deep place inside him” she says of his songs. “He’s got a deep well in him.” She continues with a laugh saying, “Sometimes he draws from the surface of the well.”
While she is naturally proud of her son’s recent victory, she stresses that his performances are not about winning. To her, a first place finish is not as important as the fact “that it’s a genuine performance.
“I always love to watch him play his music. He sings and plays from his heart. He has a lot of passion and joy.”

• For more information, please visit www.jordanbalesband.com.

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