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A & E

Life Lessons: Country singer Jo Dee Messina headed to the Egyptian

Jo Dee Messina
Jo Dee Messina

Country music ain’t just for boys anymore.

Jo Dee Messina has made a name for herself in the honky-tonk world of American country music. She’s been nominated for two Grammy awards, scored two platinum and three gold albums and had nine No. 1 singles on the Billboard country music charts – three of which came from the same album, a first for a female country music star.

And at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, Messina is stopping by the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., as part of her tour.

Daily Chronicle reporter Adam Poulisse recently talked mommies, music and men with Messina.

Poulisse: What’s your inspiration?

Messina: Life, really. The stuff I write or sing [about] are things that I relate to. As far as topic-wise, my answer would be lame – just life in general.

Poulisse: What do you think about women dominating the country music scene?

Messina: That’s interesting, because the big question that usually comes up in interviews is ‘Why is this a more male-dominated industry?’ It ebbs and flows. We had a time of [artists such as] Faith [Hill] and Shania [Twain]. It just depends on the time.

Poulisse: You recently co-wrote the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks to My Mom.” What was the reason you wanted to get involved?

Messina: I was asked to write the forward. Then I asked them what the book was about, then I asked if I could submit a story. It was a fellowship between me and Amy Newmark.

Poulisse: The book is comprised of different mothers and their lessons of gratitude, love and life lessons. So I’m curious, what was an important life lesson your mother taught you?

Messina: My mother explained that she would be with me no matter what and gave me the strength to move forward. My mother was the center of [my] universe. She raised me as a single mom. She taught me many things to survive on your own. You’ll find your mother in [the book] somewhere. She might not be like my mom, but there’s 101 different stories from 101 different people.

Poulisse: Back to your music. What kind of audience do you have in mind when writing and playing your music?

Messina: I don’t. If you try to aim for a certain sound for a certain audience ... it just becomes so not genuine. It becomes so fake and I think fans can sense that. They sense the insincerity.

Poulisse: How did you get your start?

Messina: I grew up near Boston and started playing in the club circuit. After high school, I moved to Nashville.

Poulisse: I used to live near Boston. I never knew they had a country music scene?

Messina: It has its own circuit. Now it’s bigger than ever. It’s definitely grown and it’s a great place to get your feet wet.

Poulisse: Anything else you want to add about your upcoming show?

Messina: There’s something in it for everyone. We love what we do and it comes across in what we do in our show. We’re pretty basic but there’s enough to put on a great show.

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