ABOUT TOWN: Stoughton's Lori McKenna Releasing New Album, "Massachusetts"
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LORI MCKENNA RELEASING NEW Album: Stoughton's own singer-songwriter, nationally-acclaimed Lori McKenna, is releasing her six full-length album, "Massachusetts," officially on April 23.
It will kick off with two pre-release shows at Club Passim in Cambridge, on April 4th and 5th. Both nights will have two shows - at 7 and 9:30. Cost is $35 at the door.
McKenna, who received national recognition when she penned "Fireflies" and a couple of other songs for Faith Hill (which sold over a million copies and landed at #1), was also featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show (when people watched it on network TV.) That appearance culminated in a national record deal for McKenna, with Warner Brothers Nashville.
And, she toured with Hill, and Hill's husband, Tim McGraw, on their Soul2Soul tour in 2005. Her songs have been covered by such acclaimed acrts as Mandy Moore, Amanda Leigh, Sara Evans, Jimmy Wayne, and McGraw.
McKenna's last CD, "Lorraine", named after her late mom,was reviewed by About Town in 2011.
She tells About Town that there's a special track on the new CD for her hometown called "Love Can Put It Back Together," which was written with Stoughton native Mike Viola.
The song "was written for our shared hometown of Stoughton, Massachusetts. Specifically for the aging and currently vacant Stoughton Theatre," she said.
Viola and McKenna played a benefit for the old State Theatre a couple of years ago at a sold-out Whiplash in Stoughton.
McKenna adds, "Producer Mark Erelli and I decided to keep the track list home spun. I admit, it isn’t hard to do even with 70 songs to pick from. Mark's musical approach to recording "Massachusetts" was based around what best fit the lyrics. The core of each song was played live in the studio - anything that doesn’t sound perfect is because, well, music really isn’t ever completely perfect. To me and to Mark – the goal was emotion – not perfection."
She concludes, "If Massachusetts were a book and the songs were chapters, then together they would tell the story of a life. It’s not all my life. But some of it may be yours. Or someone you know. Or someone you bought coffee from, or sat next to on the bus one day."
McKenna is performing locally this upcoming Saturday, March 16 in Mansfield at The Rose Garden Coffeehouse at 8 p.m.
"We've followed Lori's career for years and always admired her work," Rose Garden Coffeehouse artistic director Mac McLanahan said in a press releae, "but for some unknown reason we never hooked up. Thanks goodness we'll remedy that on March 16th."
The release continues, "McKenna's rise to the top echelons of the songwriting field has been as stunning as it has been unpredictable. From her tentative start braving open mics in the mid-1990's, to opening for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in giant arena shows, to a now more relaxed life writing and continuing to raise her kids in Stoughton, McKenna remains remarkably grounded. A typical day might include getting her children off to school, then squeezing in a few hours of songwriting in the basement before heading off to pick them up in the afternoon."
Advance sale tickets for McKenna's first-ever performance at this local music establishment are already sold out, although there "may be a very small number of tickets available at the door the night of the show starting when doors open after 7 p.m.," according to the Rose Garden Coffeehouse website.
PARTY ALL NIGHT LONG MARCH MADNESS FUNDRAISER: The 3rd Annual March Madness fundraiser to help support the annual all-night lock-in graduation party for Stoughton High seniors, will take place Saturday, March 16 at the Portuguese National Club in Stoughton.