Archived Story

Country music has story to tell

Published 10:43am Wednesday, July 31, 2013

In my line of work, I do an extremely wide variety of things and go to a bunch of diverse places and events.
From bake sales to visits from the U.S. Vice President, T-ball games to state championship finals, I’ve covered a random collection of things in just two year’s time in the field of journalism.
However, one type of event I have never cover, or even gone to in my daily life, is a concert.
That, of course, changed with SunFest’s concert conclusion Saturday at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex headlined by Jo Dee Messina.
Now, I love music, and among the genres of music I enjoy are rhythm & blues, rap, rock, jazz and even a little bit of alternative music.
Country music, well, it’s just something I have never gotten into, and concerts are just one of the many events that I have just never had the opportunity to attend.
So, naturally, covering a country music concert was a completely new experience for me.
Though I feel journalism has prepared me for just about anything, and while I approached concert coverage as just another part of the job, I left pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed a style of music I never really felt I could relate to.
The vast majority of music is about the life, and more often the struggle, of the artist who is performing.
Huge statement of the obvious, I know. But what I’m saying is that no matter if an artist is singing about how much money they have, how awesome they are or just how hard it was to get to the point they are at today, a majority of songs are written with a story to tell.
That’s something I never really considered with country music, and honestly I had never really given it a chance until Saturday.
One of the things that stood out throughout Jo Dee Messina’s performance was that she put a lot of passion into her music and her career, and that career goes hand in hand with her life experiences.
Each song had some theme or back story, with Messina even stopping to fill in the crowd on what inspired each track.
Caring for her mother in the hospital, dealing with a newborn child, or even just bad breakups, every song had a message.
It was enlightening and fun to follow each lyric and how they played a part in telling a story laid out by Messina.
But the main thing that solidified my enjoyment of Saturday’s festivities was how you could tell the crowd enjoyed Messina, and how much she enjoyed the crowd.
After a couple songs, Messina welcomed the crowd to come to the front of the stage, then she regularly interacted with them between songs, adding a little humor to her performance.
While I won’t go so far as to say I’m now a country music fan, I enjoyed the entire the concert and I think Messina’s performance was a great way to end the city’s first SunFest.
Hudson is a staff writer for The Outlook.