Catch Of Week: Lori McKenna

Meet Lori McKenna from Stoughton, MA

Yup, that Lori McKenna. Lori may be internationally known, but she is still a singer/songwriter from Stoughton. And honestly, that is a big part of her appeal. The relatability and intimacy of her words draw us in, and make us all feel that we belong here, listening. She's just a girl telling a story, and we are captivated.

But she's not just a girl. She's a mom, a daughter, a wife, and a friend. That ease and familiarity in a Lori McKenna song likely also comes from these titles. She's representing us. She's empathetic to our world and sympathetic of our feelings. Perhaps this is what drew Faith Hill in when she first heard a Lori McKenna song. As Lori explains in the videos below, Faith was introduced to her music though a friend. After hearing Lori's 2004 album Bittertown, Hill cut  four McKenna originals for her 2005 album, Fireflies, and invited Lori to sing with her on The Oprah Winfrey Show. That was the beginning of their mutual admiration association. Faith and her husband Tim McGraw have been close friends, tour mates and huge supporters of Lori's music ever since.

Flash forward a decade and Lori is an in demand Nashville songwriter. She and fellow "Love Junkies" (writers Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose) create "Girl Crush" and Little Big Town crushes it.  It goes on to win the CMA Award for Song of the Year, and a Grammy for Best Country Song. "Humble and Kind" follows, picking up the same honors the next year (plus the ACM Award for Song of the Year), giving Tim McGraw one of the biggest songs of his career. McKenna has hit singles recorded by Hunter Hayes, Rae Lynn, Carrie Underwood along the journey, not to mention dozens of album cuts for some of country and pop's biggest names. All this and she's a mom to five kids, taking care of a home and a family, traveling back and forth to Nashville, continuing to write and perform.

She's still just a girl, though. An extraordinary girl with a gift, and a guitar. That's why we are listening.

Lori Live In Studio

Lori graciously accepted my invitation to perform a few of her songs in our studio. She brought her longtime guitarist Mark, and started with "People Get Old," which is currently in rotation on Country 1025! It's from her high acclaimed latest album, The Tree.


 

Next up, a song that was meant as a lullaby to Lori's kids, "Humble and Kind"


 

Now, the single that brought Lori first Grammy Award,"Girl Crush"


 

A Moment With McKenna

What lead you to music: I come from a super musical family so I just followed in my sibling’s footsteps really. Two of my brothers are songwriters.

How old when you started: I started writing bad songs when I was around 12 – as soon as I could play a few chords on the guitar.

Instruments played: Guitar

How would you describe your sound: I’m pretty singer/songwriter-y. I came up in that world and that’s where I’m most comfortable.

Who inspires you: My co-writers mostly, but inspiration comes from everywhere (one hopes). I love songs about simple and family things. The best inspiration for me is a great song.

All- time favorite country song: (or songs if you can’t name just one): “I Can’t Make You Love Me” Mike Reed / Alan Shamblin

Favorite country concert: Watching Faith Hill perform in a field in Monroe, Louisiana during “Swampstock” one year. Stunning.

What songs do you like now on Country 102.5: I’m pretty much a fan of all the songs on country radio in general. I love Stapleton’s “Millionaire” and Morgan Wallen’s “Whiskey Glasses” right now. Also Maren with “Girl”.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: Good Lord, I’d be in trouble. Not sure what else I could possibly do. I’d probably work in retail or in customer service.

Most proud moment: My babies, they make up my proudest moments always.

Other things you like to do: Currently into podcasts. As much as I love music, sometimes with all my travel it’s nice to catch up on the world that way.

Frivolous fun fact: I have an outrageous amount of points on Southwest at any given time. HA!

 

Lori On The Road

4/17 | Nashville, TN | The Ryman (opening for Patty Griffin)

4/25 | Barnstable, MA | Cotuit Center for Performing Arts

4/26 | Rockport, MA | Rockport Music – Shalin Liu Performance Center

McKonnections

      

Every week, Kruser's Local Catch highlights New England’s homegrown country music talent, and tells you where to catch them locally and in Nashville. Click here to view previous catches.

The Local Catch is powered by Shiner Bock, independently brewed in Texas, for Boston's independent spirit. Boston is Shiner country! 

*Singer/songwriters with original music: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing Kruser at [email protected]

              

Every week, Kruser's Local Catch highlights New England’s homegrown country music talent, and tells you where to catch them locally and in Nashville. Click here to view previous catches.

The Local Catch is powered by Shiner Bock, independently brewed in Texas, for Boston's independent spirit. Boston is Shiner country! 

*Singer/songwriters: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing Kruser at [email protected]