Jo Dee Messina has sold millions of albums and hit Top Ten numerous times with songs like “I’m Alright,” “”Heads Carolina, Tails California,” “Stand Beside Me,” and “My Give A Damn’s Busted.” But instead of going the traditional label route for her upcoming album, she turned to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.
Messina’s goal for the project was $100,000. By the time the campaign ended yesterday (June 23), she had surpassed that goal by more than 20 percent. Her grand total was $121,743 from 1017 backers.
The funds will cover the costs of recording, releasing, and promoting a new album of material that, as she described, she and her fans will choose together. “Be a part of my new full-length album! Let’s ring the bell and shake things up!” Messina writes on her Kickstarter page. “This album is truly for you, the people who appreciate the creative process, as well as my amazing fans.”
“For the first time, you’ll get a peek into how I make music,” she continues. “There won’t be anyone standing over my shoulder, telling me what I can and can’t do (that is, unless you decide to show up in the studio ;-)).” And showing up in the recording studio isn’t out of the question, as one of the ‘tiers’ in the Kickstarter campaign includes being a backup singer on the song “He’s Messed Up” (five people pledged $2500 for this privilege).
The tiers of support ran from $1 to $10,000. The single buck gets your name on a wall mural; the ten grand earns you a private acoustic concert at your house (two people signed up at that level).
According to Messina, the new album will feature a “core group” of musicians “who have been on my records throughout my career.” The names she lists include Lonnie Wilson, Mike Brignadello, Steve Nathan, Brent Mason, and B. James. Messina notes she is producing the album herself “with a lot of assistance from Julian King.”
Messina explains that she’s been trying out new material at live shows, and fan feedback has been instrumental in her song choices. “I feel strongly that there will be something on the record for everyone,” Messina says. “Some songs have a pop edge, some lean rock, others are straight-forward country, and even a bluegrass tune. I’m still coming from the same strong opinionated place but, I also will show another side that some see as vulnerable and others see as encouraging.”
The new album is set for release in September. In addition, Messina has concerts scheduled throughout the summer and fall.