Daily Discovery: Sara Jean Kelley, “Trains”


Videos by American Songwriter

Sara Jean Kelley was born and raised right in the heart of the Music City, USA. As the daughter of hit singer/songwriter, Irene Kelley, she has music in her blood. You can purchase Sara’s EP, “The Waiting Place”, here.

ARTIST: Sara Jean Kelley

SONG: Trains


HOMETOWN: Nashville,TN

CURRENT LOCATION: Mostly Nashville

AMBITIONS: Be a special guest on Sesame Street and SNL. And have Jack White produce me.

TURN-OFFS: People who just don’t get the joke.

TURN-ONS: Confidence, ambition, weirdness, and beautiful hair.

DREAM GIG: The Grand Ole Opry at The Ryman

FAVORITE LYRIC: “Naked as the eyes of a clown” John Prine- “That’s the Way the World Goes Round”

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: I feel pretty crazy most of the time.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Tears of a Clown” Smokey Robinson

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Tina Fey, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Jack White, Jane Goodall, and Amy Poehler (If I got a 6th, it’d be Oliver Sacks.)

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Favorite I’ve been to? Probably James Taylor. My dad forced me to go, and I was so mad at him for keeping me away from my friends on a Saturday night (this was in high school), but then I actually started having fun and singing along to every song. I remember my dad saying “you’ll thank me when you’re older,” and I do. Favorite concert I’ve played? Opening for Emmylou Harris. It was a benefit for her dog rescue Bonaparte’s Retreat and she only played one song, but it was definitely the most memorable. And I now get to say that I opened for Emmylou Harris.

I WROTE THIS SONG: With my friend Will Kimbrough. It actually took over a year to write it. When we first sat down to write, he came with a rough idea, so we wrote the first 2 verses and chorus and thought it was finished. About a year later, we were going through old things and this song resurfaced. We played through it and decided it didn’t feel finished. There, we wrote the third verse and the bridge and spent the entire evening recording a demo. That’s when Will came up with that badass harmonica part– I remember saying over and over “Make it feel like a train.” I love that sound; it give the song movement and spirit.

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