Lori McKenna is on Basic Folk talking about her new album The Balladeer. Lori’s been a huge part of the New England folk circuit for over two decades and for the last ten years has been a much in-demand songwriting in Nashville thanks to Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Mary Gauthier. Lori grew up (and still lives) in Stoughton, Mass (where the Ikea is!) She talks about her complicated relationship with her hometown and discovering how her home life is the secret ingredient to her incredible writing. Lori’s a great storyteller and we get a lot of stories about her brothers and sister, her dad, her husband, her kids and of course, Mandy Moore.
Lori talks about developing her confidence in songwriting. She didn’t leave the house with her music until she was in her late twenties, even though she had been writing since she was a young teen. She talks about the first song she wrote and played for her brother about a rodeo. It was the late 70’s and she had never been exposed to rodeos and still has no idea where that came from. I did the math to even make sure she couldn’t have absorbed it from any Garth Brooks’ rodeo songs. From there, Lori just wrote to express herself.
The new album is filled with personal songs as well as one character song, which happens to be the title track. Lori McKenna is a songwriting giant who has been hugely historical in my life, so it was an absolute honor to have her on the podcast.