Jordan Moorman doesn’t sound like any other open-mike regular. “I don’t have a larynx. I don’t know what it is that I use to sing or talk.” The singer-guitarist lost his vocal cords when he was born.
“As soon as I was born, there was a blockage of air to my lungs. I died for a couple minutes. They had to do an immediate tracheotomy to allow me to live.”
Although he says modern science may have handled his problem differently, he does not fault the doctors in Stillwater, OK, who cut his voice box out in 1984. “They allowed me to live. I have a lot of respect for them because I am alive and talking…Infant tracheotomy was not that advanced then. According to doctors I was never supposed to speak at all.”
When Moorman first moved to San Diego seven years ago, he played guitar in a punk band called the False Idols. “I wrote the music. It was a shitty pop-punk band.”
Moorman, who sounds like a male Marge Simpson, was nicknamed “Froggy” as a child. He admits it took a while to work up the nerve to sing and play at an open mike. His first one was January at the Tuesday night acoustic showcase at the E Street Cafe in Encinitas.
“My best friend taught me to face my hardships and tackle that which I’m not good at.”
He says the fact that he wants to go back to E Street, an alcohol-free coffeehouse, proves that point.
“I want to go back because I hate it there. One of the owners doesn’t like me. The second time I played there, he went up and introduced me and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, here is Jordan. I hope he isn’t drunk tonight.’ ”
Moorman admitted that Jamieson whiskey helped him work up the nerve to sing at his first appearance at E Street. “I was afraid of not being respected. We don’t drink to become brave. We drink to not be afraid. It gave me the nerve to sign up [to perform]. But I refused to not play there again after he said that.”
And Moorman will not give up vocals. “I could just play guitar. But by all accounts, I should be dead. It would be a selfish act if I didn’t push myself to sing. I don’t believe what I have is a handicap.”
Jordan Moorman appears at E Street Cafe Tuesday.