Sunday, 9 September, 2007 5:04 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Lori
BY MICHAEL WILSON
Bros. recording artist Lori McKenna.
2007 CMA Close Up News Service
To music insiders, Lori
McKenna isn't an unknown quantity. Songwriters and performers have
long lauded her knack for infusing an Americana feel with artful
intelligence - a blend that places her somewhere between the intimacies
of the Boston coffeehouses she once played and the more distant
horizons of her imagination. Faith Hill, among others, recognized
her gifts early and turned one of McKenna's songs, "Stealing
Kisses," into a hit single from her chart-topping Fireflies
This year, however, marks
McKenna's major label debut as an artist with Unglamorous, released
Aug. 14 on Warner Bros. Records/Stylesonic Records. Its homespun
lyricism transforms family life into poetry, and its sound marries
co-producers Byron Gallimore's and Tim McGraw's sure-fire Country
sensibilities to McKenna's alt-folk/rock aesthetic. Call it what
you will: It's a winner.
In fact, McKenna has
been making music of this caliber and documenting it on disc since
1998, when the Boston Globe included her independent debut, Paper
Wings and Halo, on its selection of the year's Top 10 albums. Her
writing draws from sources as diverse as traditional American folk,
The Cure, Carole King, Alanis Morissette and James Taylor, the common
denominators being taste, creativity and originality. What results
is a narrative style that is unique to McKenna and a knack for melody
and structure that earned her an Abe Olman Scholarship from ASCAP
and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
Despite her emergence
into the spotlight courtesy of Warner Bros., McKenna remains close
to her roots. She still lives in the Boston area home where she
and her longtime husband Gene, a plumber, continue to raise their
five children, though in early June she left the neighborhood to
perform on this summer's Tim McGraw/Faith Hill "Soul2Soul"
IN HER OWN WORDS:
Who is your musical
What CD is on your
"Tim McGraw's Let It Go."
What book is on your
"The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein."
What actor would
portray you in a biopic about your life?
Who is your dream
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