Country chart-toppers Lonestar are no strangers to delivering deeply personal hits, but with their 2001 heart-snatcher “I’m Already There,” the band took it one step further. The piano-charged song is a desperate “I miss you,” a throat-tightening tune that has become synonymous with long distances and sleepless nights.
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Who Wrote It?
“I’m Already There” was written by the band’s then-lead singer, Richie McDonald, with country songwriters Gary Baker and Frank Myers. The tune, one full of bittersweet longing, was inspired by life on the road for Lonestar during the height of their success. One moment, in particular, sparked the conversational song.
“I remember to this day, having that conversation with my little 4-year-old son Rhett,” McDonald shared in an interview with Songfacts. “He was 4, now he’s 17. But I remember that night clearly to this day, just hearing that little squeaky voice saying, ‘Daddy, when you comin’ home?’ And when you’re gone for 6 weeks at that point, you just hang up the phone and you cry and you think, you know what, physically maybe I’m not there, but mentally I’m already there. I’ll never forget sitting in that hotel room in Southern California and just thinking, ‘I’m already there.’ There’s an idea. And that’s where it came from.”
Writing the song proved cathartic for the artist, saying it was a way to “help me through the separation at the time. Songwriting, for me, a lot of times it’s therapy. Just the chance to spill my guts out on a piece of paper or a computer or whatever it is and to put it to music.”
With time, the song took on a deeper meaning for the band as it began to take on a more universal meaning for its listeners. “You never have an idea that it’s going to have an impact, but that’s the great thing about country music: it’s just, I do what I do,” McDonald continued. “But there’s somebody in the Army or the Navy or a truck driver or a pilot out there that basically does the same thing that I do, they’re away from their families. But I just had to write about it and express it and then if they feel the same way, that’s great. I just never imagine that it’s going to touch people the way it does.”
The Song Today
The country outfit is bringing the song back in a new way. “I’m Already There,” along with nine of their other No. 1 hits, has been re-recorded for an upcoming album of refreshed fan favorites.
Titled TEN to 1, the release will feature their career-spanning chart-toppers, such as “My Front Porch Looking In,” “Amazed,” “Smile,” “Mr. Mom,” and “Everything’s Changed,” as they’ve never been heard before. The album is set to drop on Friday, June 2.
“We’ve been doing this for a very long time, and we’ve been super blessed in our 30-plus years together to have 22 top 10 singles and then have 10 of those go No. 1,” founding member Dean Sams shared in a statement. “We’ve adapted our sound so much over the years through playing live, we’ve started approaching songs a little bit differently and so we just thought we should put a version of who we are today out there with all 10 of our No.1s.”
“Most of these songs we’ve played for 25 years or so, and we know these songs like the back of our hand,” added Michael Britt. “It was fun to be able to record songs that everybody knows and just put a different spin on them because we’ve changed them over time.”
Photo by Taylor Ballantyne / Milestone Publicity