Jo Dee Messina promises fun at her concert

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Jo Dee Messina has just the album for anyone who’s never heard her music, but is willing to try.

“Greatest hits,” she said with a laugh. “I would start with the greatest hits.”

Jo Dee Messina will be singing at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday, Aug. 14, at 9 p.m. -- Courtesy | Krista Lee Photography

Jo Dee Messina will be singing at the Franklin-Southampton County Fair on Friday, Aug. 14, at 9 p.m. — Courtesy | Krista Lee Photography

That collection features 15 tracks already familiar to her fans, including “Bring On the Rain,” “Wishing Well,” “Because You Love Me” and her debut hit single from 1996, “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”

Since the beginning, Messina has achieved a reported 9 number one singles, 16 Top 40 singles and sold more than 5 million records around the world.

Three of the nine albums include the “Unmistakable Trilogy,” which are Inspiration, Drive and Love. Asked about their source, Messina said during a recent phone interview that she had plenty of songs available.

“I had been recording songs for years. They [the executives at her former label] were looking for that one song, that one hit,” she said.”I had albums and albums worth of material, and they have to release something. I just handed it in, and label divided it up.”

There were several people producing, many of whom were people she has admired over the years.

“They were all great producers and just a joy to work to with them,” Messina added.

Appropriately, the songs on each album fit the title.

For Inspiration: “Heaven Was Needing a Hero,” “Keep the Faith” and a live acoustic version of “Even God Must Get the Blues.”

Drive: “Just Drive,” “Biker Chick” and a live acoustic version of “Lesson in Leavin’.”

Love: “Always Have, Always Will,” “Treat Me Like a Woman Today” and a live acoustic version of “Because You Love Me.”

Following the completion of her contract three years ago, Messina struck out on her own, established her own label and released “Me,” in spring of last year.

“That album I began to post on my social media,” she said. “People would ask ‘When’s your new album?’”

But even though she’s independent and had founded Dreambound Records, it was up to her to finance a new collection. Kickstarter was suggested and, as Messina put it: “The fans showed up. They made it happen. This is their record.”

By the way, if you go to Nashville looking for the physical location of label, you’ll be searching in vain. There’s no building outside of her home.

“It exists on paper so songs can be put in stores,” she said. “I don’t want that job of record mogul. There’s so much pressure. It’s just not a music gig. I like the creative side.”

Asked about favorite singers she enjoys, Messina listed Keith Urban, Katy Perry, Natalie Grant, Colton Dixon, the Eagles and Toto.

“It’s all over the place,” she added about her musical tastes.

Because she’s a mom, Messina limits tours.

At the time of the interview, she had just gotten back from singing in Iowa and Wisconsin.

“I like to do about 70 shows I have a 3-year-old and 6-year-old in school.”

Her appearance in Southampton next week is not an acoustic set.

“We’ve got the band with us,” she said. “Some have been with me 13 or 14 years; some are new.”

As if writing songs were not enough, Messina has co-authored “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom” with Amy Newmark. This is described as “a collection of 101 stories of love, learning and gratitude.”

To learn more about the book, her music and Messina herself, you can visit, or better still, come see and hear her in concert this Friday. She’ll take the Main Stage on Friday, Aug. 14., at 9 p.m. Opening for her at 7 p.m. will be the Jody Pyles Band.

“It’s going to fun,” Messina promised.