So Beautiful – Lori McKenna’s Unglamorous

I just discovered Lori McKenna’s YouTube channel. Along with a great interview video, it has several fun little travel vlogs from her recent Soul2Soul tour with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. The vlogs show Lori just as I would imagine based on her written blogs: humble, grateful, excited and a bit wide-eyed about the whole touring thing. They’re edited by her son Brian, which makes them even cuter (in my opinion), and he does a really good job!

Here’s one from their stop at Saskatoon:

Check out her channel for more.

Lori was a delightful discovery for me – I first heard Faith Hill’s version of Fireflies on the radio during one of my drives home from Kansas City back to Iowa. It was a more than two hour, super early morning journey I made weekly for a few months when I was taking a class in Kansas City. It was before my iPod and the car didn’t have a CD player. The three radio station choices were bible thumping sermons, crude shockjock talk shows or country music. During those months I quickly grew to appreciate that country channel. The stories in the songs were funny, poignant, touching or true in turns. Often the tunes were simple enough that I could be belting my lungs out right along with the singers by the second chorus, even if I’d never heard the song before.

I’ve admired plenty of songwriters and often wished I could be like them, but I think Fireflies was the first song where my first reaction really was, “Oh my gosh I wish I’d written that!!” I was impressed enough that I had to reach for a scrap of paper and make a quick note while I was driving so I could look it up later.

Little did I know that I’d be finding such inspiration! I somehow discovered that Fireflies was originally by Lori McKenna, a young mother of five, who was writing and recording songs at her kitchen table. Songs so good that when Faith Hill heard them, she stopped her current record to go back and add them in! I don’t have kids but I’d like to someday, and I’m always on the lookout for role models like Lori. She has an honesty, sweetness and confidence about her that we could use more of in this world.

And to think I might have missed out if I hadn’t been willing to give the country radio station a try! (She definitely has a folk rock/acoustic appeal as well, but I don’t think any of the stations I was usually listening to at the time would have played her stuff.) Lori’s latest single Unglamorous is available now on iTunes, I can’t wait for the rest of the album (set to release 8-14-07)!

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