Country star Jo Dee Messina joins Macon Pops for Saturday performance at City Auditorium

lshirley@macon.comFebruary 28, 2014 

Jo Dee Messina sought fans’ input through the Internet for her latest album, “Me.”

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Jo Dee Messina, who will be performing with the Macon Pops on Saturday at the City Auditorium, likes to get her fans involved with her music.

For her next album, “Me,” being released March 18, Messina took to the Internet and sought fans’ input on the album’s songs and title as well as artwork for her new label.

“It was something nobody’s done, inviting fans into every bit of the process, from finding and picking the songs to choosing the first single,” she said. “It’s a way to engage the fans and give them a voice.”

Macon Pops producer and drummer Steve Moretti said the way Messina draws fans in during her performances was just one of the reasons he and Pops conductor and artistic director Matt Catingub wanted to include her in the Pops show.

“She is an incredible entertainer, an incredible singer. The first time I heard her sing, I was just blown away by her voice. She lets you in, lets her guard down and is wonderful at engaging the audience,” Moretti said, adding that Messina has performed with Catingub and pops orchestras he works with in California and Hawaii.

Catingub also wrote Messina’s pops orchestra book, Moretti said.

“It brings the familiar songs people know of hers to the stage with a 40-piece orchestra,” he said. “It’s hard for an artist who has a band to not play with her band, but she’s comfortable with us. She was really excited about the show in Hawaii.”

She’s excited about the Macon show, as well.

“It’s awesome to hear the different sound with the orchestra. I can’t wait to hear what they’ve done with my next single, ‘A Woman’s Rant.’ It’s totally bluegrass and I’m curious to hear how that song’s going to come off,” Messina said.

In addition to songs from the new album, Messina will be performing hits and covers, “a little bit of everything,” she said.

The show marks the third and final one of the Macon Pops’ first season, and Moretti said they will add a show next year, with dates already set for Sept. 6; Nov. 1; Feb. 28, 2015; and April 11, 2015.

“Where can you see an artist like this for $10? You can’t see one of this magnitude and level for that,” he said.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the show, dancing is always encouraged, and Messina will get to spend another evening with her fans.

“I love being there with people. It’s like we’re hanging out, spending the evening together,” she said. “Let’s visit awhile.”

Macon Pops

When: 7:30 p.m. March 1

Where: Macon City Auditorium, 415 First St.

Cost: $10 balcony seats; tables available

Information: 478-722-9909, extension 106

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