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This Natalie Hemby and Delta Maid penned song is the title track of American Country music group Little Big Town's fifth album. Karen Fairchild explained to The Boot
why they named the record after this cut. "It came about as a title because, of course, it's a song on the record," she explained. "But the process also kind of felt like a storm. Fast and furious and overwhelming and quickly gone. It feels like there's a really good storm brewing in our camp. Something that comes through every once in a while and it's really good, but it's powerful and just a change in the air twirling around. It's a tornado in a good way."
The song compares a scorned woman to a force of nature, and features an ominous chorus in which the protagonist threatens to destroy the house that she shares with her wayward man. "Natalie played it for us one night and we were like, man, I don't think I've ever heard a chick say, 'I'm a tornado,'" said Fairchild.
At the studio where this was recorded, there's a little hole in the wall that you go through to get to the echo chamber, where there are microphones set up. Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook used the space to create the spooky whistles for this song.
The eerie music video features actor Johnathon Schaech, playing the bad guy. His other roles include playing the lead singer of The Wonders in That Thing You Do!
and a villain in Prom Night
. Schaech has another pop culture claim to fame - he married "Why Ya Wanna
" singer Jana Kramer in July 2010 but they split after a month.
Karen Fairchild told The Boot that she'd observed how the band's young female fans have latched onto this song in a big way. "They like identifying with that song when they're ticked off," she noted. "They want to throw their man under a house! I see the girls tweet things like, 'I'm a tornado!' Or ... 'I'm gonna lift this house,' and you just know there's something not good going on in their house that day, and they need a theme song and something they can identify with and live vicariously through what we're singing. That's what it's all about, how you're feeling and looking for a moment to identify with in a song. And it's fun ...we don't take it too seriously. But we all feel like a tornado sometimes."
Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild said in a radio interview that when performing the song, she likes to think of someone who's been wronged. "I use a different motivation every night. It's not Jimi. Everyone thinks it might be [husband] Jimi [Westbrook], but it can be anything," she said. "I just like to get up there and think about somebody who doesn't want to take anyone's BS anymore, you know, whatever girl is out there."
The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.
John Lee Hooker
Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed Bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write The Blues.