Jo Dee Messina to perform in Green Bay
By Janelle Fisher
City Pages Editor
Country music star Jo Dee Messina is scheduled to perform at Green Bay’s Epic Center on Friday, Feb. 24, as part of her Heads Carolina Tails California tour.
With two platinum and three gold-certified albums under her belt and recognitions from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music , Messina has come a long way since she first moved to Nashville at the age of 19.
“When I first got to Nashville, I was very naïve,” she said. “I didn’t realize there were so many people trying to do the same thing that I was trying to do. I didn’t realize that there were tens of thousands of people trying to get a record deal. I just thought that’s what you did — you moved to Nashville to get a record deal. I don’t know that I had any great expectations. Now, to be involved in the industry and watch how it has developed and changed over the years has been fascinating for me.”
Being in the industry for so long, Messina said she’s seen many trends come and go and observed how expectations of country music have changed.
“I’ve been able to be in the industry long enough to see the ebbs and flows of it,” she said. So when people are like ‘I can’t believe they’re not doing this,’ I’m like, ‘well, it will.’ Even traditional or pop, you know, they have different names for it but it’s like ‘well now it sounds like this.’ What happened to country music? It’ll come back around. It always does. If you look at Dolly Parton, look at her career, it’s like the coat of many colors. ‘Nine to Five’ was considered pop. Amy Rogers was considered pop and then it comes back around here to George Strait. Everything kind of has its season.”
Although she lives in Nashville, Messina said Green Bay feels familiar to her.
“I love the people and really just have a wonderful time with the people that show up at the shows up there and just the people in the community,” she said. “I’m from outside of Boston, so Green Bay, for me, is very familiar, you know, within the city.”
Messina said she and her family are especially looking forward to getting their hands on a particular dessert they discovered while in Green Bay for a previous show.
“My husband’s gonna want us to go to Uncle Mike’s for kringle,” she said. “We had 40 of them shipped to people in our neighborhood — that was our Christmas present last year.”
Messina said her friends didn’t know what kringle was, to which she informed them, “it’s a piece of heaven with lots of sugar on it.”
For those on the fence about coming to the show, Messina encourages “just come on out, grab some tickets.”
“It’s a really good time,” she said. “Even if you bring a friend that’s never heard the music, there’s going to be something in the show for them.”
Messina said the likelihood of there being something for everyone in her show is because each of her shows is a little bit different.
“The setlist is merely a suggestion,” she said. “I see somebody do something and then tell a story, sing a song, bring someone on stage, who knows?”
The direction of the show, Messina said, really depends on the conditions of the show itself.
“It really depends on the day, the mood and the crowd,” she said. “I might be having a funky day, so ‘Bring on the Rain’ might be my song and I’m like ‘yes, I can’t wait to get to that.’ But it also depends on the crowd — like if the crowd’s crazy about ‘I’m Alright’ or “Lesson in Leavin’.’ At the shows lately, it’s pretty much been every song that the crowd sings so loud, like the speakers don’t even matter. I don’t even have to sing. I can just stand there and the audience sings for me. That response is huge.”