Album Reviews

Lori McKenna

The Bird & The Rifle

Artist:     Lori McKenna

Album:     The Bird & The Rifle

Label:     CN Records

Release Date:     07/29/2016

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It’s hard to believe that The Bird & The Rifle is Lori McKenna’s tenth studio album. Her voice and lyrics sound fresh, new and bright. On the other hand, it’s easy to see how much experience she has in the scene just by listening to her. “Giving Up On Your Hometown” is a great example of all of this. “All These Things” comes in a close second.

Recorded live over ten days by the legendary Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton) at his studio in Nashville, The Bird & The Rifle includes McKenna’s own “Humble & Kind,” which Tim McGraw recorded and took to the radio this past winter.

Each song is written or co-written by McKenna, who worked on the tracks at home while her five children were at school; Stoughton, Massachusetts has remained home for this country artist. “My whole family is here,” McKenna has said. “I don’t think it changes your growth as a writer, where you are. I think you will grow no matter what, as long as you put the work into it.”

The first track off The Bird & The Rifle, “Wreck You,” is also the name of her tour supporting the album, which continues until the end of October. This is one artist that is worth seeing live. Not only are her vocals some of the sweetest north of Nashville, McKenna is a much sought after songwriter. She has penned tracks for Faith Hill, Reba, Alison Krauss, Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.

-Brenda Hillegas

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