Jo Dee Messina To Sing National Anthem At Kentucky Derby

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Country artist Jo Dee Messina has been tapped to sing the national anthem before this year’s annual running of the Kentucky Derby.

Messina will be among elite company when she sings the national anthem at this year’s Kentucky Derby. She will be only the sixth person to have ever sung the national anthem in the 140-year history of what is one of horse racing’s biggest events. This year’s Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 3rd on NBC. Messina is scheduled to perform at 5pm ET on the nationally broadcast race.

Messina was upbeat in discussing her appointment to sing at this year’s derby. “I’m so excited to be a part of the 140th Kentucky Derby!” she said. “What an amazing opportunity to be able to perform The National Anthem, a song which I am so proud to sing.  I’m honored to be invited for this experience of a lifetime!”

Jo Dee Messina recently released her new full-length studio effort, Me. The album has already spawned two hit singles, the latest being the song ‘A Woman’s Rant.’ The song is currently Top 30 on the Music Row Chart and is getting ever closer to Billboard’s Top 40 indicator. More information on Jo Dee Messina’s new album, her tour schedule and more is available online at http://www.jodeemessina.com, http://www.facebook.com/jodeemessina, and http://twitter.com/jodeemessina. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Messina’s New LP Was Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Veteran country music artist Jo Dee Messina released her self-titled debut album nearly twenty years ago in 1996.  From there, she released her next two albums within two years of each other.  Her fourth album Delicious Surprise took four years to be released from the date of her third album.  Until now, that was the longest span of time that she had spent between new album.  Nine years after the release of Delicious Surprise, Messina will finally release her fifth full length studio effort next Tuesday, March 18th.  That album, simply titled Me, shows that even after nine years away, Messina still has plenty of fire underneath her.  And she makes that statement in bold fashion with her album’s opener, ‘Not Dead Yet.’

‘Not Dead Yet’ can be summed up in one simple word.  That word is anthemic.  On the surface, this adrenaline fueled fist pumper could be argued to be a song steeped in the common theme of relationship issues.  That argument could be made thanks to the song’s first verse, in which she sings, “You’re the one who stopped believin’/While I’m still in the chase/You’ve shattered my feelings/But you won’t shatter my faith.”  But with the knowledge of her finally being released from a long-term contract in 2013, this song takes on a whole new meaning.  It becomes more clear as she sings in the song’s chorus, “You can put me down/You can count me out/I’m not listening to you/I’ve paid my dues/Gotten bent and bruised/Walked a thousand miles in these shoes/I’m here/And I’m well/Felt the fire/I’ve been through hell/I’m a little out of breath/But baby/I’m not dead yet.” That sense of optimism and self-confidence is carried throughout the remainder of the song. And it is certain to have every fan singing along, pumping their fists in the air whether in their home, their car, or even at one of Messina’s concerts.  The end result is a song that serves not just as entertainment, but a song that can reach so many listeners.  It’s one of those motivating pieces that tells people it’s possible to get through even the most difficult times and to not give up.  Considering how tough so many people have it right now, this song is a welcome motivator and equally perfect opener for Messina’s return.

‘Not Dead Yet’ is a perfect way to open Me.  That’s thanks to the power in both its music and lyrics.  Just as anthemic is ‘A Woman’s Rant.’  This “girl power” piece is one to which every one of Messina’s female fans will be able to relate.  It’s the story of one woman’s day from start to finish, from the stresses of taking care of her family first thing in the morning all the way to balancing the everyday stresses of balancing being a wife and mom.  It’s one part musical stand-up comedy act thanks to the wit and sarcasm in her writing, and one part social statement. The boldest of the social statements made in the song comes with Messina singing, “There’s so many things I can’t begin to understand/The differences there between a woman and a man/You see/Women they do twice the work/And get half the pay/Menthey climb the ladder while the women pave the way/They say that we’re the weaker sex/I have to disagree/I’d walk a mile in his shoes if he’d walk half a mile in these.”  Even in her social statement about inequalities in employment, that wit shoes its face as she makes a joke about the combined pain of walking in heels and of being treated nowhere near the equal of men.  It’s one of so many statements made over the course of the song’s three and a half minutes that makes this another of the best additions to Me.

Messina shows plenty of self-confidence and self-assuredness throughout both ‘Not Dead Yet’ and ‘A Woman’s Rant’ as should be clear by now.  There is at least one more song on this record that displays that same positivity.  That song is ‘Take It.’ As with the previously noted songs, Messina doesn’t mince any words here.  She makes it clear right from the song’s opening verse that this is another song of self-empowerment, as she sings, “Look at me/I’m swinging from the chandelier, baby/I’m a woman with no fear/I’m breakin’ free/From these chains/From these chains that bind me/Anything that ties me down/I have no explanation/For the loss of hesitation/Lack of reservation.”  The song’s solid country rock musical backing adds to the song’s power and makes it even more of another solid addition to the album.

The songs that were included on Me were chosen by Jo Dee Messina’s fans since the album as a whole was fan-funded via Kick Starter.  As the songs noted in this review show, Messina’s fans made at least three very good choices.  When audiences hear the album in its entirety, they will agree that her fans made far more good choices than could potentially be noted in just one sitting. The songs of self-empowerment and pride are just part of what fans will appreciate about Me.  There are more emotional moments throughout the album, too.  Between those more reserved moments and the high-adrenaline songs noted here, Me proves to be quite the impressive return for Jo Dee Messina.  Audiences will be able to hear her perform those songs and plenty more when she hits the road beginning May 23rd in Biloxi, MS.  Fans can find out where else she’ll be performing live online at http://www.facebook.com/jodeemessina and http://www.jodeemessina.com.  Fans can also pre-order Me and keep up with all of the latest from Jo Dee Messina now via Messina’s official website.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jo Dee Messina Announces Title, Release Date For New Album

Photo Credit:  Krista Lee Photography

Photo Credit: Krista Lee Photography

Jo Dee Messina has been building anticipation for her new album for roughly a year.  All of that buildup has finally led to a long awaited announcement from the veteran country music artist.

Messina has announced that her new album Me will finally see the light of day.  Me will be released Tuesday, March 18th.  The Kickstarter funded album is the most successful of its kind to come out of Nashville to date and the fifteenth largest funded music campaign in the history of the Kickstarter.com website.  Over the course of the album’s production, Messina’s fans helped her raise over $100,000 to cover the cost of its creation.  It will be released via Messina’s own Dreambound Records and distributed by eOne Music.

As a thank you to her fans for helping her raise the money to bring Me to life, Messina gave her fans a voice.  She gave them the chance to choose the album’s songs, album title, lead single, and even the logo for her label, Dreambound Records.  The lead single chosen by fans is titled ‘Peace Sign.’  The lyric video for the song can be viewed online now at http://youtu.be/TqllF4aZkuo.  Each was selected via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Stage-It collectively.  ‘Not Dead Yet’ is another of the songs included on Messina’s new album.  She explained the song was born after her departure from her now former record label.  In a recent interview, she told reporters, “I had been listening to the naysayers around me and thought, ‘I have so much to offer now that I’m free of the restraints I had with my label.’ I then had a conversation with my friend and co-writer saying, ‘I have so much left to do, so much left to say. Goodness! I’m not dead yet!’ And that is how the song was born. It talks about how if I listened to the small thinkers and naysayers, I might as well throw in the towel. Music is my life, it’s a part of who I am. I’m not ready to give up that part of my life. Hell, I’m just getting started!”

Part of Messina’s push to support her new album meant hitting the road and testing her new material with audiences.  It was that testing that led ‘Woman’s Rant’ to be included.  It’s a song that every one of her female listeners will appreciate.  Messina joked about the song in an interview.  “This song had many more verses,” she said, laughing as she discussed the song.  “It was written in a few minutes. My youngest baby wouldn’t sleep longer than two hours. One night I was sick and could barely move so I tried to wake up my husband to get the baby, but I couldn’t get him to budge. After feeding the baby, burping him, changing him, I was wide awake. That’s when I went downstairs and wrote ‘A Woman’s Rant.’ It’s literally a day in the life of me. Ha!”  She performed the song on NBC’s The Today Show this past Summer.  Audiences can check out the performance online now at http://www.today.com/video/today/52082917.

The title track from Messina’s new album is one her own favorites.  She explained the importance of the song, stating that it allows her fans to see a side of her that they might not otherwise see.  “The fans chose ME as the album title. I think it fits because this record explores many different sides of who I am. The song came about through a conversation with one of my co-writers, Kathie Baillie of Baillie & The Boys, who has a grown daughter. I was feeling the stress of trying to be everything to everyone and asked her how she did it. There is a part of me that thinks when I look in the mirror, I should see Wonder Woman. When I see me, it terrifies me. Can I really pull off all the things I have to be to so many? I don’t know. We’ll see. This song gives folks a peek at the vulnerable side of me which isn’t shown that often.”

Messina thanked her fans for their help bringing Me to life in closing.  She said to her fans in a statement, “This album is truly for you, the people who appreciate the creative process, as well as my amazing fans,” she said.  “There’s no question, I wouldn’t be where I am today without your love and support. You’ve been with me since the beginning. This album is a fresh start for me, and I want us to go on this exciting journey together.”

More information on Me, Messina’s tour schedule, and all of her latest news is available online at http://www.jodeemessina.com, http://facebook.com/jodeemessina, http://twitter.com/jodeemessina, and http://www.babble.com/contributor/jodeemessina.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.