It feels like forever ago when I first spoke with Jo Dee Messina and her album, Me, was months away from its big release. It also feels like eons ago when I began this weekly track-by-track album review, counting down until March 18th. It is hard to believe that tomorrow is March 18th and Jo Dee’s album will finally be making its way into your phones, iPods, cars, and homes.
To wrap up this “Me on Monday” series, I saved the first track on the album, “Not Dead Yet,” for last. Strategically, “Not Dead Yet” made sense as the final track for review because it sends a very important message to country music fans … Jo Dee is still here, and she is ready to remind you why she was nominated for two Grammys and is a chart-topping hit-maker. Regardless of the hard times Jo Dee faced with her former record label, this bold, confident, talented artist hasn’t let it get the best of her. Instead, she barreled through the difficulties and forged her own path. This song let’s those who doubted her abilities to succeed on her own know how very wrong they were.
Jo Dee sings, “You can put me down, you can count me out, I’m not listenin’ to you. I’ve paid my dues, gotten bent and bruised, I’ve walked a thousand miles in these shoes. I’m here and I’m well. I’ve felt the fire, I’ve been through hell. I’m a little out of breath, but baby I’m not dead yet.” In a song that drips of honesty and forthcomingness, Jo Dee admits the road has seemed dim and, sometimes, there is no clear path at any given moment, but she is ready to hit the ground running anyway. In this song of art imitating life, Jo Dee quips (likely aimed toward her former label) that she will not allow anybody to take her down, as she has enough life left in her to create her own destiny.
And, a charmed destiny she has created, especially considering the caliber of her new album, Me, which will be available tomorrow. From front to back, this album will bring you strong, hard-hitting tracks, as well as emotional ballads that will choke you up and make you sympathize with Jo Dee and/or the character she portrays in the song. From beginning to end, this album will provide you with must-hear tracks, impeccable vocals, and a variety of instrumentation that will appeal to fans of several different styles of country music. I am so excited for you to finally hear what I have been hearing for all of these months, and I thank you for trusting me to guide you toward this album and take you on this weekly ride. I guarantee the destination was well worth your wait.
I would like to extend a very special thank you to Jo Dee Messina and Team JDM for believing in me and adopting me into their special circle to promote this album so vigorously over the last couple of months. It has been a distinct honor and privilege to be involved with such fabulous people.