If you've ever been told you couldn't do something, if you've ever been told no when you really wanted a yes, if you've ever had to muster up all your guts and gumption to do it anyways, then Jo Dee Messina's new tunes will strike a chord with you.
In her new album, Me, Messina bares it all--sharing her turbulence and triumphs, but mostly her loving heart and resilient spirit with us.
After a disappointing break with her record label, Jo Dee found herself in a sort of no man's land--unable to sign with a new label, but contractually done with the old one. While some may call this stuck between a rock and a hard place, Jo Dee instead saw a unique opportunity--to create and share good music in a new way: for the fans and by the fans.
"Have you ever seen Moneyball?" she asks me. "It's like that. We want to play Yankees big ball but we have an Oakland A's budget. So we take it day by day," she says. But I'm not much of a quitter, I'm about getting stuff done."
And what she has done is pure magic -- a tender, fiery, and fun album that resonates with the heart of any listener. Covering her life -- from her endless duties as wife, mom and rockstar musician (she even brings the kiddos on the road with her!) to her insight on resilience and inspiration, the title Me makes perfect sense for her recent release.
That's what's so special about Jo Dee and her music -- an openhearted woman, sharing not only her talent, but her whole raw and beautiful authentic self. As a celebrity country artist with a slew of successes behind her, Jo Dee could have written the usual love song and it still would have soared. But instead she strips down any pretense and shares the real deal. "It is really my heart and soul in the form of music," Jo Dee said. "The strong part, the weak part, the vulnerable part, the fun part, the scared part. Every part of who I am."
A spitfire woman, Jo Dee is showing the world that despite repeated resistance, naysayers and dashed expectations, anything is possible when you put your whole heart in it. And Jo Dee's fans are helping prove her right -- coming out in droves to fund Jo Dee's album (she launched via a Kickstarter campaign) and filling concert venues across the country.
When I asked her how she busted through those closed doors, Jo Dee told me that we all pay too much attention to the critics and not enough attention to our own hearts. "So I say: listen to yourself and just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!" she repeats to me -- a nod to Finding Nemo, a movie she has on repeat for her 2- and 5-year olds. "You probably don't watch that movie as often as I do," she says -- "but you get the point."
And I do. There's nothing more powerful and empowering than a determined woman who takes the reins and makes her dreams a reality.
"They were telling me: you're tenacious but it's not going to happen," Jo Dee said. "I want to tell them: oh you haven't even seen tenacious yet."
Find Jo Dee's album on iTunes.
...and more about Jo Dee at her site.