McKenna paints stories of the human condition, and wraps them in a warm, gritty, and sweet voice. She is a master at chronicling the love, pain, and pathos of domestic life. Already a staple of the Boston folk music scene, McKenna was catapulted to the national stage in 2005 when country music superstar Faith Hill recorded three of her songs on Hill’s “Fireflies” album and began introducing other artists to McKenna’s music. Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, and LeAnn Rimes are among the many who have recorded McKenna’s songs in recent years.
The increased acclaim for McKenna’s song craft led to a record deal with Warner Brothers, which released her album “Unglamorous” in 2007. Working with McGraw (who co-produced the album), an appearance on Oprah and an opening slot on McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul tour followed. In her sixth album “Lorraine,” McKenna considers the influence of her mother, who died when she was only 7, as well as her own place in relationship to her husband, family, and community. The love of family, home, and community is not some abstraction for McKenna, it’s central to who she is.
McKenna’s unusual combination of professional and personal life, at least in the context of the modern music industry, has been well documented. She grew up in Massachusetts in a musical household. Her father was an excellent singer, and her mother played the piano. Two of her older brothers were songwriters, one of whom (Richard) she considers largely responsible for her career. He accompanied a reluctant McKenna to open mic nights and gave her confidence that she was good enough. She began performing her songs in public at 27, after she and her husband Gene already had three children. She and Gene continue to maintain a happy home in Stoughton, MA, adding two more children to their full lives.
Tickets are $20 general and $18 for students and seniors. For ticket reservations and information call (802) 254-9276. The location is Next Stage at 15 Kimball Hill.
The concert is presented in conjunction with Next Stage Arts Project. JD McCliment’s Pub will provide a beer and wine cash bar. For more information visit www.lorimckenna.com and www.twilightmusic.org.