The name Jim Messina may not be instantly familiar, but his resume is. He boasts a hit parade of material, songs spanning a 50-year career with some of the biggest acts in popular music.
"I give the audience a little bit of everything I've done, through Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Loggins and Messina, and my solo work," Messina says from his home in Nashville, where he lives with wife Michaela, daughter Josey, three donkeys, three cats, and a dog.
More on the donkeys later.
The memorable songs will all be there: "Mojito Moon (Michaela's Song)," "Travelin's Blues," "Watching the River Run," "House at Pooh Corner," "Danny's Song," "Listen to a Country Song," "Holiday Hotel," "Angry Eyes," "Your Mama Don't Dance," and more. Messina's setlist is like a Saturday night countdown show.
"The show starts acoustically with a song from my solo albums. I want to give the audience a sense of who I am now. Then I move through some of the some of the classic songs that I've either written, produced or performed. The first half of the show is acoustic, then it moves to country then to the higher energy stuff.
On this particular tour, our engineer, Paul Middleton, keeps the volume low but exciting. I don't like blasting an audience out. I think that's absolutely crazy. When I go to shows and they kill me with the volume, I have to leave."
Now about those three donkeys 'round back of Messina's house.
"I'm just a tolerated owner, my wife is really the one with the donkeys. We used to live in California and had some issues with coyotes. My daughter had raised some Pekin ducks and we started realizing that some were missing. We caught some coyotes eating them for breakfast," Messina says.
"Having lived in Texas [he was raised in Harlingen] and being around animals, I knew that many ranchers would take donkeys and put them in their herds. They were really the only animal that would stand up to a coyote or a big cat.
My wife wanted a horse. She's from the Czech Republic and a city girl. Well, two or three expensive animals and the next thing you know, the vet bills start coming in. So I suggested why don't we get a couple of jackasses. They're only about $125.
The great thing about those animals is, they're hardy. They'll eat just about anything. We ended up adopting three donkeys. They did a fantastic job keeping every coyote and varmint out of our barnyard. No more missing ducks.
"When we moved to Tennessee, of course the donkeys had to come or that was the end of my marriage. They love my wife, wallow all over her and kiss her. Then I come around and they wonder who the hell is this guy?"
Jim Messina brings the hits to the Dosey Doe Big Barn in The Woodlands, 25911 Interstate 45 N, at 8 pm on Friday, February 8. For tickets, visit the Dosey Doe site.