HOMETOWN ENTERTAINMENT: Jo Dee Messina bringing hits and stories behind the songs to Roanoke

The country star will perform at Dr Pepper Park May 20
The country singer is known for hits like "Heads Carolina, Tails California and "Bring on the Rain"
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 6:03 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -“Heads Carolina, Tails California” was singer Jo Dee Messina’s breakout hit in 1996. Now she’s on the road again, with a tour bringing her to Roanoke.

“The audiences have been large and enthusiastic and that make it a lot of fun for us onstage, because we get to play off of their energy and we get excited. It’s been a lot of fun,” says Messina.

Messina started singing when she was 13. Country music appealed to her, even though she lived in Massachusetts.

“Being from Boston, it’s not really popular-- or wasn’t really popular up there, but I heard it from some kid from Florida and I was like, oh my gosh, this person really understands how I feel,” says Messina.

That connection to country music inspired Messina to move to Nashville.

Messina went on to earn Grammy nominations, as well as CMA and Academy of Country Music awards. Her music, she says, comes from life experiences.

“Yesterday we wrote a song-- Whoa, it was just emotionally exhausting.,” says Messina.

It was about the heartbreak a friend of hers had suffered.

“We pull the ideas from life, whether it’s a fun time, whether it’s a heartbreak time, whether it’s a stand-on-your-own-two-feet or whether it’s I don’t know know to move forward, something as real as that is how we try to keep it,” she says.

Keeping it real, and keeping it live on a busy tour schedule that includes a stop at Dr Pepper Park this month.

When WDBJ7 asked Messina what she feels is so special about country music, the answer was pretty simple.

“Somebody sent this to me a while ago and I was like, man what a great explanation, they said ‘country music helps-- it’s processing through life,” she says.

The show is happening Saturday, May 20 at Dr Pepper Park at the Bridges in Roanoke. Showtime is 6 pm. Click here for a link to buy tickets.