Sunday, August 19, 2007

Music Review: Lori McKenna

Written by John from Altjiranga Mitjina

For once my timing is right on with this week’s voice to hear. I actually had decided on making this week’s voice Lori McKenna while I was listening to her most recent album in my car and when I went to her website to gather some information for this week’s column I discovered that her new cd Unglamorous will be released on August 14, the day after this column appears (or at least would have if Heather's internet connection hadn't gone down for the week).

You might not know who Lori is, but if you’re much of a country fan you’ve probably heard a few of her songs. Faith Hill recorded three of her songs for her most recent album, including the title song “Fireflies.” Faith says she heard Lori’s songs and fell in love with them. The other two songs Faith covers are “Stealing Kisses” and “If You Ask.” The added attention brought Lori’s last album to the attention of Warner Brothers and they re-released Bittertown on their Nashville label. Her newest album which comes out tomorrow if you’re reading this the day it pops up on the internet is produced by Tim McGraw and was recorded in Nashville with a session of studio musicians. Country singer Sara Evans has recorded the song “Bible Song” also.

Not bad for a woman who didn’t start singing until she was 27 and already married with three children. She made her professional debut at open mike nights in the clubs in Boston. At the age of 19 she married her high school sweetheart. Currently they have five children. She released her first album Paper Wings and Halos independently. A singer/songwriter friend of hers, Mary Gauthier (an upcoming Voice to Hear) gave her music to people she knew in Nashville and Lori signed a publishing deal with Harlan Howard’s music company.

Lori lives in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband and five children. Her husband is a plumber and she used to drive to gigs in her mini-van. Since the inclusion of her song’s on Faith’s last album Lori has appeared on Oprah and opened part of the Soul2Soul tour for Faith and Tim. (Unfortunately not the show I saw recently.) On her MySpace page she blogs about the tour and traveling the country with the two country music superstars. You can almost hear the awe in her words as she talks about things she never imagined happening to her, life on the road with two of country’s biggest stars and appearing before crowds that she never thought she would.

Lori writes about life in a small town and life as a Mother and Wife so convincingly because she lives the life she writes about. Her song are not strictly auto biographical, but she takes parts from her own life and mixes it with what she sees around her and creates songs that tell the truth of such living.

On Mandy Moore’s new album the former teen pop star was looking to become a more serious singer/songwriter and went to Lori to collaborate on three of the songs on the new album. This could be one of the voices that we hear now as a small, not well known singer that might be on the verge of breaking out into super stardom. Lori might be about to take that next step to becoming to a Star, but regardless of her status in the music field she will continue to release albums of heartfelt emotion and superb singing and that is enough.

If you're reading this it can only mean one thing, that John from altjiranga mitjina has once again forgotten to provide a blurb after whatever it is he wrote for this issue. All he can say is that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. He'd write more but he'd just forget whatever it was he wrote.


The Farmers Wife said...

she didn't start until she my age? And she already had three children? Just goes to show that anything is possible eh?

Well, if you can sing and stuff anyway.

JohnH985 said...

Kind of gives you faith that someone can start a new career at a later age. Maybe there's hope for my writing career yet.

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