Lori McKenna is a mother of five from Stoughton, Mass. (pop. 27,000), about 20 miles outside Boston. There she lives quietly - well, as quietly as a house with five children can get - with her husband of 22 years, Gene, a plumber for the local gas company.
She is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter who was thrust into the limelight when superstar Faith Hill included three of McKenna's songs on the Fireflies album.
Prior to her 2007 Warner Bros. album Unglamorous, she independently released Paper Wings & Halo (1998), Pieces of Me (2001), The Kitchen Tapes (2003), and Bittertown (2004). She's quick to point out that her songs' tangibly intimate scenarios are not necessarily a journal of her own home life. Rather, they're the collision point of autobiography, keen observation, and a vivid imagination. "That's how my brain works," she says. "I can take a little piece of something that I heard somewhere and turn it into a song written in the first person."
McKenna's unique talent for getting such honest emotion on paper may be the result of her unique career path. "I started writing songs when I was about 13, but I never imagined I would actually leave my house with them," she recalls. "They were always written for me." McKenna learned to compose without self-consciousness, to leave in all the painful details that most writers would edit out before facing an audience. Why not? No one would hear the songs anyway.
And that's how things remained-until McKenna reached age 27, at which point she had already married and had three children. "My kids put everything in line for me," she says. "They, and my husband, gave me the courage to play in front of people. If the audience hated my songs, it wasn't gonna make or break me, because I had so much here at home. If it didn't work, I could at least share that lesson with my kids: 'I can't be regretful, because at least I tried to pursue this.'" Certainly, the young mom didn't envision the string of events that led to her status as an in-demand songwriter.
After the initial exposure from the Hill recordings and after appearing with the superstar on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the music community clamored to record her songs. Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Alison Krauss and Keith Urban are just a few to record McKenna's heartfelt songs. Obviously, her unique perspective continues to connect with artists.
McKenna is in the studio finishing her sixth studio album Lorraine. "I want to write great songs, timeless songs, songs that affect people," she says. "But if I have the blessing to be able to share the way I interpret my songs with people, then I want to do that, too." The new album is scheduled for release early next year. Currently signed with Universal Music Publishing Group in Nashville, she spends most days hard at work behind the doors of her Hoodie Studios, creating her next piece of musical poetry.
PUBLISHING/MANAGEMENT:. Whitney Williams, Universal Music Publishing Nashville, 615-340-5400
BOOKING AGENT: Susie Giang @ FLEMING ARTISTS www.flemingartists.com
PRESS CONTACT: DAWN KAMERLING, THE PRESS HOUSE, www.thepresshouse.com