Weekender

Jo Dee Messina brings her unmistakable sound downtown

Jo Dee Messina will visit downtown State College for the Summer's Best Music Fest this weekend.
Jo Dee Messina will visit downtown State College for the Summer's Best Music Fest this weekend.

Sometimes physics complicates things.

Even the best of voices can only carry so far, and country singer Jo Dee Messina is no exception.

For her Saturday evening performance at Summer’s Best Music Festival, Messina will spend about 12 hours in a tour bus that will take her from her home in Nashville to a stage on Garner Street in downtown State College.

Depending on when the bus wheels into town, Messina may have time to stroll the streets, take in the sights or generally just enjoy the smell of fresh air.

In keeping with tradition, Messina will gather with her band 15 minutes before the show to warm up and settle in to a groove that will carry them through the rest of the night.

Once the concert begins at 6 p.m., the singer-songwriter will perform a few hits, tell a couple of stories and maybe even play a few new songs.

When the fun and games are over, she’ll climb back aboard the bus and begin the almost 700-mile drive back to Nashville so that she can arrive home in time for church on Sunday.

Bottom line? Fame has its perks — and the commute is not one of them.

Which is not to say that Messina is complaining. The petty annoyances and unavoidable challenges of everyday life are the great equalizer connecting audiences with a country star who has sold more than 5 million albums worldwide and performed duets alongside Tim McGraw.

“It means I go through the same crap as they do,” Messina said.

Still, all relationships need to be nurtured and Messina is not above putting in a little TLC.

Last August, Messina became a Beach Body coach, reaching out to her fans across social media to collaboratively perform a handful of 21-Day Challenges.

During concerts, she’s quick to share more than just her music, telling stories about her day or the people she’s bumped into out on the road.

That openness has become a critical part of Messina’s creative process. Music has a broad utility in her life, both as a living and as way to process that life in a meaningful way.

“Maybe it’s something going through me, an emotion or something. It’s just life and sharing it with people,” Messina said.

Filed under that category are a multitude of projects that reach well beyond the heading of music.

Messina has co-written an entry in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, formed her very own label under the moniker Dreambound Records and launched the 15th largest campaign Kickstarter has ever had to produce her album, “Me.”

She looks for any outlet she can find to be creative and is currently in the process of stripping down a 100-year-old barn.

Despite her many projects, Messina appreciates the opportunity touring the country has provided.

“You can see the world how it really is as opposed to how it is portrayed,” Messina said.

State College is familiar territory for the country star, who performed in the area once before and said she is stoked to come back.

It’s the same enthusiasm Messina carries with her each and every day — and for a good reason.

“I’m living life alongside everyone else and I get to sing while I’m at it,” Messina said.

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