The award-winning country artists sells out her show in Michigan as she teases fans with her new material due out later this year.

20-May-2016: Located just off the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan, the Little River Casino is home to the 1,600 seat Makwa Endaat Event Center inside. The venue is known for their sold out shows, and tonight was no exception as Jo Dee Messina also put her name on the list for the accomplishment.

As Jo Dee entered the stage, she was welcomed by a standing ovation of eager patrons who waited patiently for this moment. Jo Dee started the show off with “Take It” and “Breakin’ It Down” from her 2014 Me album.

Me is Jo Dee’s fifth full-length album, but her first album released on her own Dreambound Records and her first since parting ways with Curb Records, who helped launch her career in 1995.

For her next song, she grabbed her guitar as she greeted the crowd and thanked them for coming. She invited them to sing along before laughing and announcing that “if you don’t know this song, you probably shouldn’t be here.  But thank you for coming anyway.” The song, “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” was Jo Dee’s debut single to her self-titled 1996 debut album.

After showing off her strong-willed demeanor in “My Give A Damn’s Busted,” she joked with her stagehand that came out to retrieve her guitar as she spun about causing him run in a circle around her.

As she noticed a clock on the side of the stage, Jo Dee remembered that she forgot to call her two sons at home before bed due to her pre-show meet-and-greet. As a young lady toward the front of the stage spoke up and told Jo Dee to call them, she asked the crowd’s permission, of which they approved. Jo Dee proceeded to call her sons via cell phone from the stage. She spoke to them before going to bed and apologized to everyone as she thought she was an hour behind and was in Minnesota instead of Michigan.

Before introducing her new song, “Masquerade,” Jo Dee talked to the crowd about being popular. She explained about writing this song during a rough time in her life when things weren’t always so pretty. As she described herself, “I, of all people, am far from being perfect.”

When her children ask her if she is famous, she declines by saying “famous means ‘people who think they are perfect.'” She also added that it is an act, as those people are “less perfect” than those who don’t act in such a way. The new song talks about that with the description of those hiding behind a mask. “Masquerade” is yet to be recorded and planned for release later in the year.

Continuing with the show, Jo Dee sang some of her top hits, like “I’m Alright,” “Stand Beside Me,” and “Lesson In Leavin’,” along with the duet, “Bring On The Rain,” with her guitar player.

Jo Dee took a few moments to get personal and talk about how people treat others at different times of one’s life. She spoke about how certain individuals had come into her life when she was successful early in her career and talked about how they were there for her and would also comment, “love ya, Jo Dee.” They were always there for the new CDs, merchandise, and even money.

When her career hit a soft spot, and she was struggling with her personal demons, her so-called friends and supporters disappeared. At first, they continued to hold their hands out wanting freebies until they realized there wasn’t anymore. When the time came to ask for help to finance new music, no one was around.

At this time, Jo Dee came to the realization that the word “Love” is said too easily these days, and without any merit.  With that in mind, she sat at her piano and wrote the emotional song “Will You Love Me?” that talks about loving someone through the good times and bad.

She then mentioned how we as people are all walking wounded with our own tribulations. She paraphrased real life stories of other people and their feelings of not being wanted or loved. As Jo Dee continued with story after story, her keyboard player started playing softly a hymn leading up to Jesus Culture’s cover of “There Is Power In The Name Of Jesus.”

Before ending her performance, Jo Dee explained how her mother being sick and needing 24-hour care made an impact on her life, and the complications with her own family as she is not always there for them.

She finished by singing a cover song by Plumb called “I Need You Now,” before receiving a thunderous applause and standing ovation as she exited the stage.

Jo Dee made a return to the stage to thank the crowd for coming. She also wanted to lighten the mood and send the crowd home in a proper fashion with her 1999 No. 1 hit song, “Bye, Bye.” As she sang, the crowd rushed to the front of the stage to try and get a handshake or close up photo while singing along with her.

For the 1,600 people in attendance, they got more than what was printed on their ticket; they also received a lesson of realizing the people on stage are not perfect.  They are just ordinary people, each with their own challenges in life.

Jo Dee Messina
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Little River Casino
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Jo Dee Messina’s Setlist:
1. Take It; 2. Breakin’ It Down; 3. Heads Carolina, Tails California; 4. My Give A Damn’s Busted; 5. That’s The Way; 6. Masquerade; 7. A Woman’s Rant; 8. I’m Alright; 9. Downtime; 10. Bring On The Rain (duet with guitar player); 11. Stand Beside Me; 12. Lesson In Leavin’; 13. Will You Love Me; 14. There Is Power In The Name Of Jesus (Jesus Culture cover); 15. I Need You Now (Plumb cover); 16. Encore – Bye, Bye


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