Music

Rooted in Country: Lainey Wilson Says Lee Ann Womack's 'I Hope You Dance' Spoke to Her 'Big Dreams'

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Louisiana-born singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson adheres to country music's mantra of "three chords and the truth." Her Jay Joyce-produced debut album Sayin' What I'm Thinkin,' featuring "Things A Man Oughta Know," is a collection of straight-talk honesty and hard-won wisdom.

Wilson, who describes her fiery brand of freewheeling country music as "bell bottom country," says, while she's always been in love with country music, it was a Lee Ann Womack song that first stirred something in her soul.

"I remember my middle school teacher playing 'I Hope You Dance' by Lee Ann Womack in my 4th grade classroom. I will never forget the way it made me feel as a little girl who had big dreams," Wilson tells Wide Open Country. "I was always surrounded by the infectious sounds of country music, but this was the first time I remember actually feeling something deep in my soul. There's been times throughout this journey, where I always refer back to to the lyrics... 'Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens.'"

Read More: Rooted in Country: Caitlyn Smith on Alison Krauss' 'When You Say Nothing At All'

Wilson, who began writing songs at nine years old, followed her big dreams from Baskin, Louisiana (population: 300) to Music City, a place she'd dreamed about moving to since a childhood visit.

"I remember exactly where I was on the interstate in the backseat," she says. "I was staring at the Batman building and little Lainey at nine years old said, 'This is home.' I've always known it and I don't know if it's because I spoke it out loud and it manifested itself, but I've always known that I'd be here."

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Rooted in Country: Lainey Wilson Says Lee Ann Womack's 'I Hope You Dance' Spoke to Her 'Big Dreams'