Heads Carolina, Tails Maryland: Country legend Jo Dee Messina to … – WTOP

On Sept. 22, Jo Dee Messina performs at The Great Frederick Fair in Frederick, Maryland. She spoke to WTOP’s Jason Fraley for the ‘Beyond the Fame’ podcast.

Hear our full chat on my podcast “Beyond the Fame with Jason Fraley.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Jo Dee Messina at The Frederick Fair (Part 1)

She was one of the biggest country artists of the ’90s thanks to hits like “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”

On Sept. 22, Jo Dee Messina performs at The Great Frederick Fair in Frederick, Maryland, as part of her “Heads Carolina, Tails California Tour,” which fittingly kicked off in North Carolina and will end in California.

“We had never toured under the banner ‘Heads Carolina, Tails California,’ so we thought: what the heck?” Messina told WTOP.

“We might string it on until next year because we’ve had such a great outpouring of fans and people coming to the concerts and they’ve been asking for more shows. … Coming to see you is a huge part for me. I’ve got a lot of friends up there and love the Maryland area. We’re gonna get some crab cakes!”

Born in Massachusetts in 1970, Messina performed with her siblings before moving to Nashville at age 19.

“I’m an East Coaster and went to school where a bunch of kids from all over the country went, but I heard country music and I thought, ‘Wow, this tells the story of my life,’ and that’s how I got into it,” Messina said.

“From there, I started writing songs and performing country songs. Then, right after high school, I moved down to Nashville and tried to get a record deal and paid my dues and did my time here.”

She broke through with her self-titled first album, “Jo Dee Messina” (1996), fittingly featuring the leadoff track “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore” and the aforementioned “Heads Carolina, Tails California.”

“My first album was done and one of the writers called me like, ‘Hey Jo Dee, I’ve got this song,’” Messina said. “I listened to it and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really cool,’ so I brought it to my producers. They were like, ‘Man, we gotta put this on the record.’ So we went back into the studio and recorded it as an afterthought, it wasn’t something we had scripted for the album. It was the very last minute and the very first single!”

In 1998, she won the Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Female Vocalist thanks to her second album “I’m Alright” (1998), which featured a smash title track, as well as other songs like “Stand Beside Me,” “Lesson in Leavin’” and “Bye Bye” that spoke to a resilient heart surviving some rough relationships.

“I think that’s just kind of what I was going through at that point in life,” Messina said. “I wasn’t married, I was trying to find a decent guy while I was having a career, and I was running into a bunch of bums, so there was plenty of songs to go around!”

In 2000, she won the Horizon Award at the Country Music Association Awards. That same year she released her third album, “Burn” (2000), featuring a hit title song with candle imagery, as well as two Grammy nominations for “That’s the Way” and “Bring on the Rain,” the latter with Tim McGraw on background vocals.

“That song, geez, I just heard a guitar demo by Helen Darling, she was one of the writers,” Messina said. “I loved how empowering the song was. McGraw loved it and was like, ‘Hey, man, do you mind if I sing on it?’ He was producing my records at the time, so he was in the studio hearing the song over and over and was like, ‘Man, I’d love to throw something on that,’ so that’s how that came about.”

After her “Greatest Hits” (2003), Messina proved she could keep the hitmaker magic going with her fourth album, “Delicious Surprise” (2005), which featured the catchy throwback tune “My Give a Damn’s Busted.”

“That was a point where we were kind of at a standstill really,” Messina said. “We were like, ‘Where do we go?’ Everybody kind of got interested in other things, so we decided to come back with ‘My Give a Damn’s Busted,’ and I remember people going, ‘Oh my gosh, you reinvented yourself,’ and I was like, ‘No, I actually just went back to who I was before all the glamour and what not.’ That was originally cut by Joe Diffie, he wrote it.”

In 2010, she released a trilogy of EP’s with “Unmistakable: Love,” “Unmistakable: Drive” and “Unmistakable: Inspiration,” including the song “Heaven Was Needing a Hero,” which is still played at funerals everywhere.

“That song was written when the first female soldier was lost at war over in Iraq,” Messina said. “I saw her brother on the news, they were asking him a bunch of questions, and he was like, ‘I don’t know how to answer your questions, I just know that my sister will always be a hero to me,’ and I was just like, ‘Man.’ I remember watching the TV screen going, ‘Heaven must have been needing a hero,’ so that’s where that song came from.”

After leaving Curb Records, she released the crowdfunded album “Me” (2014), but her big resurgence came in 2022 when Cole Swindell paid homage in his No. 1 country hit “She Had Me at Heads Carolina,” nominated for Musical Event of the Year at the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Today, her music has generated a billion streams across Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music with over four million streams per week.

“We’ve noticed that in the last five years there’s just a huge swell of young listeners and I’m guessing that’s a lot of streaming,” Messina said. “You’ll see when you go to the show that it isn’t just ‘Heads Carolina,’ you’ll see people, like real young people, like 8 years old, singing all the words to ‘Lesson in Leavin’,’ ‘Stand Beside Me’ or ‘Bring on the Rain.’ … There’s no old and new anymore, it’s just current, whatever they hear.”

Her latest single “Just To Be Loved” was released on July 7.

“‘Just To Be Loved’ was inspired by my 14-year-old son, back when he was 13, he was getting text messages from 12- and 13-year-old girls that were really just heartbreaking. What kids think they have to do, or be to be loved and accepted is wrong,” Messina said. “‘Just To Be Loved’ is a song I wrote so that I could say, ‘You were created by a perfect God who loves you perfectly. You don’t have to sell out for a like or a check mark.’”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Jo Dee Messina at The Frederick Fair (Part 2)

Hear our full chat on my podcast “Beyond the Fame with Jason Fraley.”

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *