Country music superstar Jo Dee Messina has been out on the road for the last several years, visiting cities all throughout North America. Last night, Messina brought her talents a lot closer to home when she performed at Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee’s Green’s Grocery at a “Closer to Home” benefit show.
Joining Messina on the bill were Closer to Home founder and Grammy Award nominee Michele Pillar and Saturday Night Live alumna Victoria Jackson. Pillar began the evening with her beautiful new song “Untangle Me,” followed by a leave-you-in-stitches standup routine, complete with a ukulele, by Jackson. Messina rounded out the night with a sixty-minute full band set, interlacing some of her nine No. 1 hits with new music and faith-based covers.
As always, what can be said about Messina is that she let it all out for fans — energy, personality, and vocals — causing the intimate room to burst at its adorably rustic seams. Along side Messina were just over one hundred background vocalists, helping her sing every well-known song and sitting back in awe and amazement as she belted those less recognized.
Despite being closer to home and having a room full of people Messina calls friends and family or sees at church and while out running errands, the incredibly impressive singer-songwriter stayed completely true to herself and the structure of her show, which can best be described as honest and forthcoming. Admitting, as she often does to crowds of strangers, that her life has taken twists and turns over the last few years, Messina proved that her experiences have left her beautifully broken. With that admission came stories, passionate performances, and immeasurable spirit and poise. The show came to an end with the jam-packed audience rising to its feet to salute a local musical hero who induced chills and tears at an already emotionally driven event.
Watch Jo Dee Messina perform Plumb’s “Need You Now” at the Closer to Home benefit, and learn more about the wonderful organization Messina came out to support below:
Closer to Home’s calling is to raise funds from events, sponsorships and donations in order to supply provisions such as food, shelter, clothing and education for needy families, individuals and children who come to their attention via third party references. Most distributions are given anonymously to maintain the dignity of those helped. Referrals are submitted to Closer to Home via public servants such as social workers, police officers, caseworkers, educators and other individuals who are in a position to evaluate people in need. Closer to Home helps those who need immediate assistance and may be too proud to ask for help.