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We are only eight days away from the release of Jo Dee Messina’s new album, Me. Where did the time go?! With only two Mondays left before the release, we have three tracks left to get you excited for before the album officially drops. This week we want to introduce you to “Strong Shot of You” and “Love on a Maybe,” which are two more tracks on Me that will have you dancing in the driver’s seat of your car.
“Strong Shot of You” may have lyrics that are classified as “typical country” because you could get drunk if you imbibe the beverages mentioned in the first verse; however, the song itself is anything but. “Strong Shot of You” actually trades in the booze for a man, as Jo Dee orders up “those burnin’ kisses that go down easy” and “a hit of your love, just a little buzz in your ninety proof” from her bartender. While Jo Dee sings about how tipsy she already is from this man’s kind of lovin’, she certainly does not shy away from placing the order again … and again. This song is one that you will blast as you are getting ready to go out for a night on the town and stands out from the rest of the album, as it borders the more modern country rock that is so prevalent on today’s radio, while maintaining Jo Dee’s signature sound.
“Love on a Maybe” slows things down a bit … until the chorus, where you can’t help but bob your head and dance to the beat. When I heard the lyrics to this song, I said out loud to my co-worker, “ugh, sounds like my life!” and I am confident that many of you out there will relate. “Love on a Maybe” tells the story of a relationship where every time they get close, the man pulls away, leaving her wondering where exactly they stand. Then, without fail, he comes back around as if he never strayed. In this song, Jo Dee finally puts her foot down and tells him that the back and forth needs to stop and he is either in or he’s out, and if he’s in, it is about time he proves it! Jo Dee sings, “Can’t come back around, can’t come back around, getting my hopes up, just to tear them down. I, I don’t need you for a minute, don’t stand there tellin’ me you’re in it, ’cause I need you to show me you won’t leave me hangin’, no. I can’t give, give up my love, no, I can’t give my love on a maybe.” This song sends a message of independence and confidence, and tells women not to allow the uncertainty of men’s minds to control their hearts. Message received, Jo Dee!
Image courtesy of Team Jo Dee Messina
In today’s country music, it is common to find new artists putting a pop/rock twist on tracks, sometimes blurring the lines between what is truly defined as country music and what is more often referred to as “Top 40.” Enter Ross Cooper, a native-born Texan who couldn’t have the heels of his cowboys boots dug deeper into classic country in every sense of the word.
Ross grew up in a rodeo family, so, naturally, he became involved with rodeo at a young age. However, his mother, albeit a rodeo lover herself, was also involved in music. Growing up, Ross’s mother had a guitar, but, for some unknown reason, he (like many kids) took piano lessons. Finally, Ross reached the end of his rope with the piano, put his cowboy boot down and told his mother he wasn’t playing piano any longer and wanted to take guitar lessons instead.
Once his mother agreed to let Ross make the instrument switch, he also began writing songs. The first song Ross wrote was when he was ten years old and it was with his mother on piano, and, admittedly, the song was “terrible.” In junior high, Ross decided he wanted to start a band, “because that’s what you do!” and he got together with a few friends, one of whom’s mother owned a local blues bar. The group would sneak into the bar and play their Sunday night jams. By the time the group entered high school, they had a well-groomed band.
While Ross was making music with his friends, he was also becoming more and more involved with the rodeo. Ross was a bucking horse bareback rider through high school and even quit football during his sophomore year to focus on riding. He continued on this path through college and then started to pro rodeo. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Ross tore his knee, not once, but twice, and was required to take time off from rodeoing. At that point, he had to figure out what path to take moving forward, as he was still playing music regularly. “Music kinda filled the gap, so much to the point that I had to make a choice between the two. So, here I am.”
We are finally into March … You know what that means? It is the month of Jo Dee Messina‘s album release, and it’s about darn time! We have been loving every moment of providing you all with our weekly reviews of tracks on the upcoming album, Me, and we are especially excited to tell you about “Like a Kid Again.”
While there are some deep, emotional songs on Me, other songs are more carefree and light. “Like a Kid Again,” though it can definitely cause you to sit back and evaluate how fast your life seems to fly by, is the type of song that also makes you want to let loose, be young and free, and just enjoy the moments before they pass. As adults, we all experience the burden of adulthood, whether it is the stresses of work, the responsibility of paying bills, or the roller coaster ride that is raising children of our own. Some days, don’t you just want to be silly and free, just like you were able to before being a grown up meant all of these things?
Occasionally you go to an intimate show and are fortunate to experience an incredible performer up close and personal. Very rarely are you able to have that experience multiplied by three. On February 26th in Jupiter, Florida, Nashville recording artist, Sarah Darling; UK chart topper, Jenn Bostic; and local teenage prodigy, Emily Brooke, shared the stage at Tiki 52 for one night only … And it was a night that attendees won’t soon forget.
Emily Brooke opened the night with a bang, almost literally, as she took on Miranda Lambert’s “Kerosene.” As always, Emily charmed the crowd immediately with her soulful voice, stunning guitar playing, and adorable personality, made especially apparent by the huge smile that crossed her face when the audience joined her in a loud “HA!” during this hot opener. In true Emily Brooke fashion, she introduced almost every song, told cute little stories, made herself giggle, and, like a seasoned professional, swiftly returned to her set list seamlessly. A crowd favorite was Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel,” which Emily introduced and then, elatedly, said that she heard someone in the audience say how much she loved this song. Onlookers sang and clapped along as Emily strummed the guitar and crooned this popular tune that oftentimes receives a warm reception and rave reviews. Other highlights of Emily’s set list included Hunter Hayes’ “All You Ever,” The Civil Wars’ “Devil’s Backbone,” and original song (on Emily’s Here Right Now album with a corresponding video on YouTube) “Dance Hall.”
We are getting close, folks! As more information (and a new single/music video) begins to emerge, the March 18th release of Jo Dee Messina‘s album, Me, is drawing closer and closer. Can you feel the excitement?!
We were recently able to catch up with Jo Dee, and she specifically mentioned our next featured track from Me due to its pop roots that stray from the pure country sound you may be accustomed to from this country starlet. The track, aptly titled “I’m Free,” celebrates complete abandonment from something/someone who is weighing you down. As you know, Jo Dee broke the chains that bound her to her former record label and has since experienced more freedom with her musical and career choices.
In the first verse, Jo Dee sings “You tried with all your might, you had to have control. You held on so tight, you almost crushed my soul. And now I’m breaking from these chains, not looking back again.” While some may relate this song to a former relationship, others may apply the lyrics to other situations when they have felt as though they were stuck with no escape. Regardless of what you hear when you listen to this song, the beauty of this track (and all of the others from this album) is that its message is something to which everybody can relate. The chorus of this song proudly boasts “Hey, look at me now I’m flying, ’cause you ain’t got the best of me. Yeah, these wings will take me higher than you thought I’d ever be. Look at me, I’m free.” This track truly mirrors Jo Dee’s place in her career and does so in the most empowering of ways.
“I’m Free” is somewhat unique to Jo Dee’s usual sound, as it is closer to pop rock than country, made especially apparent by the stellar electric guitar arrangement in the bridge of the song. Make no mistake though … a slight stray from a normal sound does not mean a stray from the sensational vocals with which fans have fallen in love. Jo Dee’s voice in this song is as effortless and flawless as you would expect from this artist who is an expert in her craft. “I’m Free” proves that this singer/songwriter can conquer anything she puts her heart, mind, and soul into, and this opinion will surely be echoed by fans as they listen to Me from front to back.
Image courtesy of Jo Dee Messina
With one month to go until the release of Jo Dee Messina‘s new album, Me, I am still recovering from the emotional roller coaster that was caused by last week’s featured song, “Say Goodbye to Superman.” To offset the heartbreaking ballad that I had on repeat all last week (okay okay … I was still listening to it this morning), this week the feature songs (yes, plural) are the upbeat “Take It” and “He’s Messed Up.”
“Take It” is a song that, undoubtedly, can be translated into an anthem of freedom for Jo Dee, as she embarks on the new journey of an independent artist. In a true art imitating life moment, Jo Dee sings “I’m breaking free from these chains that bind me; anything that ties me down.” “Take It” is a song about embracing what lies ahead, rather than letting the weight of the world stay on your shoulders. The song teaches a lesson about letting go, looking forward, and hitting the accelerator without hesitation. Drop your convertible top, roll down the windows, crank this song on high as you cruise down the street. Nothing is going to hold you back, and if you have a moment of doubt, let Jo Dee’s words and actions inspire you!
“He’s Messed Up” is a unique song for a very special reason — Jo Dee’s fans were involved in the recording of this track. During the chorus, there are background responses to the lyrics, as well as clapping throughout. The voices and hands you hear belong to fans who donated to the Kickstarter project to produce this album. The message in this song is that, no matter how much you wish someone will change for you, it is inevitable that the person will always remain the same. Jo Dee encourages those who have had the lingering thought of “he will change for me” to put on their walking boots because, to put it simply, “he’s messed up.” You will find yourself bopping your head side to side and/or up and down as you listen to this song that is reminiscent of a No Doubt sound … if Gwen Stefani suddenly acquired a twang. The highlight of this track, other than the cameo by supportive fans, comes early in the second verse, but you will have to pre-order the album and/or follow Jo Dee on Facebook and Twitter to uncover this highlight!
We have been raving about Jo Dee Messina and her upcoming album, Me, for several months and wishing time would fast forward so you all could experience this album for yourselves. Today, we welcome you back to Keepin’ It Country with exciting news! There are only six weeks left until the big release, and you can now pre-order the album on iTunes! Upon ordering the album, you will immediately be able to download two songs off of Me – the first single, “Peace Sign,” and the sassy “A Woman’s Rant.” These two catchy, upbeat future hits have the power to tide you over until the March 18th release date!
Twelve spectacular songs for $9.99 and two early downloads … What a perfect way to start your New Music Tuesday!
Vocalist Cassadee Pope has already experienced a multitude of successes in her young country music career. Add another tally mark to the list, as Cassadee’s first country single, “Wasting All These Tears” (off her debut solo project, Frame By Frame) has broken into the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Airplay charts, after spending thirty-three weeks on the charts. Cassadee’s single, “Wasting All These Tears,” is currently approaching RIAA platinum certification, as it has far exceeded the five hundred thousand copies distributed mark.
Congratulations to Cassadee on another accomplishment in country music! We anticipate reporting on the official platinum certification of her album in the very near future!
Arista recording artists, The Swon Brothers, have officially announced “Later On” as the debut single for their upcoming album. After playing it live, in a celebrated return performance to The Voice in December, the Team Blake finalists have been drumming up anticipation for this release.
The single shipped today to country radio stations and although, the official radio airplay date is set for March of this year; fans have been able to download the song from iTunes since December. Within 24 hours of its availability, listeners pushed “Later On” to #1 on iTunes’ Top Country Song charts!
The duo is pleased that the song is resonating with their fans as much as it does with themselves. Zack Swon was quoted as saying, “We are beyond blessed and excited to be releasing our very first single on Arista Nashville! We believe that with the love and support from our fans this song has big potential.”
“We’ve waited and prayed for this moment our whole lives and it’s finally here! We are more than ready to meet all the folks at country radio and want to say thank you in advance for welcoming your two new brothers to the family!” added by his brother, Colton Swon.
For now, The Swon Brothers are hard at work with producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans) on their debut album under Arista Nashville. The date for the album may be set for later this year, but fans who just can’t wait, can download the debut single, “Later On”, here.
And for fans who just can get enough of this fun and talented brother duo, you can catch the replay of their performance on The Voice, here.
Admittedly, I remember little Lucy Hale, the American Junior contestant. I distinctly recall watching the show, being amazed by Lucy’s chops, and being thrilled when she was one of the lucky kids named to the American Juniors group.
Fast forward ten years and Lucy is not only a well-known actress, but an up-and-coming country artist currently making her way on to the scene. Lucy’s first attempt at country music comes in the form of a single, entitled “You Sound Good To Me.”
Lucy, a Tennessee native, envelopes her country roots in this radio-friendly tune with an extremely catchy hook. The lyrics cleverly describe sounds that are pleasant to Lucy’s ears, which she compares to the feeling she gets when she thinks of her love interest. Lucy’s single shares the giddiness of a couple, whom you envision skipping through a field of flowers toward one another, which can only make hopeful listeners smile, dance, and sing along.
“You Sound Good To Me” is a memorable song for Lucy right out the gate, with mass radio appeal and an upbeat melody that country music fans will surely embrace. Download “You Sound Good To Me” on iTunes today, and don’t forget to catch the video premiere on ABC Family tonight!