Joni Compretta - Driftaway
Joni Compretta
Poets and musicians alike have written of the beauty of surrender. Made numb by the daily grind of life, these artists speak of the invigorating redemption that comes from giving in to that which hounds and hovers over us. Nashville's Joni Compretta fought her fate for several years. After a national tragedy struck in 2005, she relented, realizing that there was no better time than the present to follow her calling, and that’s exactly what she would do.

Compretta always wanted to sing and perform. It is with fondness that she recalls her youthful inspiration: "I remember my father rehearsing with his band in our basement, singing the songs of Elvis, Conway, and Alabama. During those sleepless nights, I wished and dreamed that I could join them." It would be some time before she would completely go for it, but the seeds were now firmly planted. Compretta's musical abilities were occasionally put on display as she sang alongside her father and then later on as she performed at weddings and local events.

Compretta was settled in the quaint town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. She describes the town as the "kind of place you never leave." Unfortunately, hundreds of people would soon have no choice but to do just that. Located on the Gulf Coast, it was an easy target for the devastating force of Hurricane Katrina. The storm, which struck on August 29, 2005, shattered every single standing structure. Compretta witnessed firsthand the destruction and the resulting misery: "It was absolutely heartbreaking to see my town this way, with no City Hall, no restaurants, no grocery stores, no schools, and no livable homes." It is an understatement to say that this experience had a profound effect on Compretta.

Fueled by a realization that "life is too short to sit back and wait for your dream to find you", Compretta immediately decided to take advantage of the fact that both she and her dream were still alive. She soon moved to Nashville, where a chance meeting brought Compretta into contact with Nashville producer Lonnie Ratliff. The two worked hard to record Compretta's debut album, 'Out of Mississippi". The album captured the mood, melodies, and vocal stylings for which Compretta is still garnering positive attention. Inspired by artists such as Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn, Compretta's 'Out of Mississippi' is both refreshing and familiar. It is warm and inviting, and succeeds in highlighting all that is right with country music.

Compretta spent the better part of 2006 performing at venues and festivals throughout Tennessee. Audiences have expressed an appreciation for Compretta's ability to connect with them via her live shows. Because of her debut album and her willingness to support it by playing out, industry folk now mention Compretta when they discuss some of Nashville's more talented up-and-coming artists. Compretta is anxious to represent Bay St. Louis to a larger number of people as she spreads her message of hope and perseverance.

After encountering the enlightenment that can only come from tragedy, Joni Compretta is finally ready and willing to surrender to her musical calling. While it always bodes well for the person who discovers their purpose in life, it appears that country music is the beneficiary of Compretta's decision to pursue her musical ambitions. For more information on Joni Compretta, visit