Lori McKenna’s songs are honest, everyday stories which at first might seem like the ordinary and mundane, but are often the most important, transcendent moments of our lives. She started writing songs as a teenager, and became a professional songwriter at the age of 27. She began singing at open mic nights in the incredible music community of Boston, notably at the Blackthorn Tavern in nearby Easton, and eventually at her own shows. She, won awards from ASCAP and the Boston Music Awards, performed at the Sundance Film Festival, the Newport Folk Festival and played many venues in the Northeast.
While Nashville has become an important artistic and business hub, Stoughton, Massachusetts has remained home. A married mom to five kids, McKenna explains that leaving Massachusetts just never made sense. “My whole family is here,” she says. “I don’t think it changes your growth as a writer, where you are. I think you will grow no matter what, as long as you put the work into it.” Commuting between the two cities has worked well. After Faith Hill covered one of her songs … she became one of the most in demand songwriters in the industry. She has been covered by Little Big Town, Reba McIntire, Alison Krauss, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and many others. Little Big Town’s hit, “Girl Crush,” which reached 11 weeks on the Billboard’s Hot Country Songs .. netted McKenna a CMA Award, NSAI Songwriters and her first Grammy.
As an artist, McKenna has now recorded a total of 10 albums. Her newest CD The Bird & The Rifle was produced by Grammy winner Dave Cobb. “This record was made in a way that’s very different from anything else I’ve ever done,” says McKenna. “It’s very much me-this record and the songs. It made me feel comfortable in my voice. I am finally cool with its flaws. I finally understand what It can do and what it can’t do … and I’m just gonna love it for what it is.”
The album also features McKenna’s own recording of “Humble & Kind,” which Tim McGraw recorded and took to country radio this past January. McKenna wrote the song alone at home while her kids were at school. The song is a loving attempt to impart wisdom, layered over three chords. “I can say it’s one of my favorite songs, mostly because I had my kids in my head the whole time I was trying to write it,” she says. “My kids know that it’s theirs, and it’s nice in that way.”