Lori McKenna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lori McKenna
Performing solo on the Custom House Stage of New Bedford Summerfest 2006. Photograph by Thom C.
Background information
Born (1968-12-22) December 22, 1968 (age 46)
Origin Stoughton, Massachusetts
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Acoustic Guitar
Years active 1998–present
Labels Warner Bros. Records
Signature Sounds
Universal Music Publishing Group
Associated acts Faith Hill
Tim McGraw
Jimmy Wayne
Website www.lorimckenna.com

Lori McKenna (née Giroux) (born December 22, 1968) is an American folk singer/songwriter. She lives in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband and five children.

Early work[edit]

McKenna started writing songs as a teenager, and became a professional songwriter at the age of 27, when she was already married and had three children; she began singing at open mike nights in Boston, notably at the Blackthorn Tavern in nearby Easton, and eventually at her own shows. Working with her then manager Gabriel Unger, McKenna released four critically acclaimed independent CDs: Paper Wings and Halo (produced by Seth Connelly), Pieces of Me (produced by Crit Harmon), The Kitchen Tapes (self-produced demos), and Bittertown (produced by Lorne Entress). During this period she recorded for Signature Sounds, won awards from ASCAP and the Boston Music Awards, performed at the Sundance Film Festival, the Newport Folk Festival and played many sold-out venues in the Northeast.

Songwriting and music career[edit]

In 2004 McKenna signed a publishing deal with Nashville's Harlan Howard Music after fellow singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier shared McKenna's Bittertown with Melanie Howard. McKenna gained more attention in 2005, when Faith Hill recorded covers of four of McKenna's songs – three of which (including the title track) appeared on Hill's 2005 release Fireflies, the fourth as an exclusive to the iTunes Store.

McKenna parlayed her contribution to Hill's Fireflies into both an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show along with Hill, and a record deal with Warner Brothers Nashville. WB soon re-released McKenna's Bittertown on its label. In 2007, McKenna toured with Hill and Tim McGraw on the Soul2Soul Tour, accompanied by singer-songwriter/instrumentalist Mark Erelli and guitarist Russell Chudnofsky.

In addition to her own albums, McKenna has contributed a cover of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" to the 2005 "High School Reunion" compilation. In 2007, McKenna recorded a cover of Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done" for the American Laundromat Records benefit CD Cinnamon Girl - Women Artists Cover Neil Young For Charity. Also, McKenna helped write "Most of Me", "Latest Mistake" and "Can't You Just Adore Her?" on Mandy Moore's album Wild Hope (2007), and "Everblue" on Amanda Leigh (2009). Also of note, Lori McKenna's song "Bible Song" from Bittertown was recorded by country artist Sara Evans on her 'Real Fine Place' album released in 2005. Lori also contributed a song titled "I'm Workin'", recorded by Tim McGraw on his Let It Go album, released in 2007, as well as a song entitled "True Believer", recorded by Jimmy Wayne on his 2008 album, Do You Believe Me Now.

Unglamorous, was released on August 14, 2007, on Warner Bros. Nashville and McGraw and noted Nashville producer Byron Gallimore’s label, Stylesonic Records. The album yielded two non-charting singles. McKenna parted ways with Warner Bros. in 2008.[1]

UMPG Nashville signed McKenna to an exclusive publishing agreement.[2] Her ensuing album Lorraine was released on January 25, 2011 on Signature Sounds.[3]

Her latest album is called Massachusetts, released on April 23, 2013 [4] on the label 1-2-3-4-GO!.[citation needed]

In 2013, three songs co-written by McKenna entered the charts: "I Want Crazy" by Hunter Hayes, "Your Side of the Bed" by Little Big Town, and "Sober", also by Little Big Town.[citation needed]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country



Paper Wings and Halo
  • Release date: March 24, 2000
  • Label: Orchard Records
Pieces of Me
The Kitchen Tapes
  • Release date: February 10, 2004
  • Label: Gyrex Records
  • Release date: May 11, 2004
  • Label: Signature Sounds
Unglamorous 19 109 1
  • Release date: January 25, 2011
  • Label: Signature Sounds
5 6 30
Massachusetts 11 18
Numbered Doors
  • Release date: September 23, 2014
  • Label: Hoodie Songs
25 13
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Album
2007 "Unglamorous" Unglamorous
2008 "I'm Not Crazy"


External links[edit]