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McKenna, Lori - bird and the rifle [2016]
Lori McKenna's neues Album "The bird & the rifle" zeigt die begnadete Singer-Songwriterin wieder einmal in bestechender Form. In 10 wunderbaren, neuen Songs, dargeboten in einem exzellenten "stripped down full band arrangement" nimmt sie uns mit auf eine faszinierende Reise zwischen Country, Alternate Country und Americana, erstklassig produziert von dem umtriebigen, in der Szene zur Zeit mega-angesagten Dave Cobb (u.a. Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Mary Chapin Carpenter), der auf dem Album auch nahezu alle Gitarren- und viele Keyboard-Parts übernommen hat. Die Stücke punkten mit wunderbar entspannter Instrumentierung und großartigen Melodien. Die Hitlieferantin für so viele Nashville-Stars ist selbst eine charismatische, fantastisch singende Interpretin, was sie mit diesem tollen Album einmal mehr eindrucksvoll unter Beweis stellt. Sehr, sehr schön!

Hier noch ein vorzügliches U.S.-Review im Original:
Lori McKenna's back story is a country song brought to vivid yet unaffected life. Married with five children, the Massachusetts native began exploring her longstanding musical gifts - she wrote her first song at 13 - by playing for family and friends, who then forced her to attend a regional coffee house open mic. After two years of regular gigging with her poignant songs of everyday life and becoming a favorite among Boston folk fans, McKenna self-released her debut, "Paper Wings and Halo," then signed with Signature Sounds for her next three albums. Lightning struck when Faith Hill covered three McKenna songs on 2005's "Fireflies," which led to McKenna's opening gig for Hill and Tim McGraw's Soul2Soul Tour and a short-lived Warner Brothers contract. McKenna's last three albums have been indie releases, but her songwriting star continues to shine brightly; she's been covered by or contributed to over 30 artists, including Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes and Alison Krauss, and just this year, she was Grammy nominated twice for her work on Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," winning for Best Country Song. "The Bird & the Rifle," produced by the perpetually busy Dave Cobb, shows once again that the amazing accomplishments she's notched over the past two decades have had little impact on her homespun, heartfelt perspective and presentation. Her wheelhouse has always been first person, mid-tempo reflections on the scuffed beauty and honest travails of day to day living, as evidenced by the lead track and first single, "Wreck You," where the song's narrator details a deteriorating relationship. The title cut examines a similarly troubled marriage from the viewpoint of the titular props, but quiet hope permeates "Always Want You," a little less quietly in "All These Things." Like McKenna's entire catalog, "The Bird & the Rifle" is gorgeously melancholy, a perfect snapshot evocation of life in all its imperfections, and her songwriting success is the small print of the American Dream, written parenthetically underneath the titles of a hundred songs we know and love and live. (Brian Baker / Country Standard Time)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Wreck You - 3:18
2. The Bird & The Rifle - 4:24
3. Giving up on Your Hometown - 3:15
4. Halfway Home - 4:19
5. Humble & Kind - 4:03
6. We Were Cool - 3:22
7. Old Men Young Women - 3:42
8. All These Things - 3:05
9. Always Want You - 4:06
10. If Whiskey Were a Woman - 3:22

Art-Nr.: 9239
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock; Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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McKenna, Lori - the balladeer [2020]
Die fantastische, aus Boston stammende, vor allem aber in der musikalischen Szene Nashville's sehr umtriebige Singer/Songwriterin Lori McKenna, 2-fache Grammy-Gewinnerin, gilt schon seit Jahren als eine der respektiertesten und profiliertesten Vertretrin ihrer Zunft, gefeiert gleichermaßen von Musikerkollegen, von Kritikern und den Fans. Sie ist ein absoluter Eckpfeiler der heutigen Americana-Musik. Mit "The Balladeer", produziert einmal mehr von Dave Cobb, kommt nun ihr neues Album, das man abermals als ein hell funkelndes Juwel zeitloser Americana-Kunst bezeichnen muss. Hinreißend! In zehn wunderschönen Liedern, meist in einem exquisiten Full Band-Midtempo gehalten, erzählt McKenna bewegende, emotionale Geschichten des Lebens. Wie sie das musikalisch umsetzt ist "pure magic". Ergreifend! Schön! Hochklassig!

Hier ein Original U.S.-Review:

Lori McKenna records should come with a warning label - this product may cause uncontrollable weeping. Every generation has their best songwriters, and this unassuming mom from Massachusetts happens to be one of them. It's the kind of talent that wins Best Country Song Grammys in streaks. She took the trophy home in 2016 for co-penning "Girl Crush". Then in 2017, she won again for "Humble and Kind" (which she wrote herself). Some of the other years, she was at least nominated.
As an artist, McKenna has been dutifully releasing a record at a prolific clip about every other year. "The Balladeer" is her 11th album in the 2000s. She's found a superstar production partnership in Dave Cobb (who has a knack for befriending all the best songwriters alive). The McKenna and Cobb pairing with 2016's "The Bird and the Rifle" was hailed as a masterpiece. But 2018's "The Tree" was stunning in its own right. Add this record to another in the set of McKenna winners.
How does her magic work? Part of it is how songs will disguise themselves as being light and airy, then move you from the inside. With "Good Fight," the melody suggests a peppy and poppy love song. But when we meet the characters, locked in a long marriage, they're embroiled in an argument. That becomes a metaphor for how their lives together have been a test worth the fight.
Simple and often acoustic musical accents abound to accompany the profound poetry. A few friends stop by, like the ladies from Little Big Town ("This Town Is a Woman") or the Love Junkies (a group of songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose and McKenna) who helped sing and co-write a few of the stronger pieces of material (When You're My Age").
While that's all well and good (and so is McKenna's overlooked emotional singing), it's the mining of relationship in verse that's the star. McKenna doesn't wow you with her word choice. She uses plainspeak and tiny detail to ring with emotional resonance. She's aiming to find that secret heart where it lives in orbit with others. Maybe it's a sibling ("Marie") or a spouse ("Two Birds"). Maybe it's an old boyfriend, or your younger self - an absolute gem on this collection is "Stuck in High School". Here's a taste: You're always carrying around that kid/Whose picture's in the hallway, 18 and graduating/Did you ever make those dreams come true/Or is the kid still waiting?
This is a chance to sit in amazement and listen to a master songwriter who makes it look easy. Stock up on tissues. The label doesn't say it, but you've been warned.
(Jeff Lincoln / Country Standard Time)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. This Town is a Woman (feat. Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town) - 3:18
2. The Balladeer - 3:51
3. Marie - 3:33
4. The Dream - 4:29
5. Uphill - 3:01
6. Good Fight - 3:18
7. Stuck in High School - 3:11
8. When You're My Age (feat. Hillary Lindsey & Liz Rose) - 5:11
9. Two Birds - 3:28
10. Till You're Grown - 4:13

Art-Nr.: 10117
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Neuheit || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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McKenna, Lori - the tree [2018]
Eine der am meisten respektierten und profiliertesten Singer-Songwriterinnen der Gegenwart beglückt uns erneut mit einem bestechend schönen, geradezu hinreißenden, neuen Album. Ihr voriges Werk, "The bird and the rifle" erhielt 3 Grammy-Nominierungen und heimste wahnsinnig viel Aufmerksamkeit bei der Americana Music Association ein. Außerdem schrieb sie im Jahre 2016 Geschichte, als sie als erste Frau überhaupt zum zweiten Mal hintereinander die Auszeichnung "Song auf the year" der amerikanischen Country Music Association gewann, und zwar für ihre Kompositionen von Little Big Town's "Girl crush" und Tim McGraw's "Humble and kind" Beide Songs waren dann auch noch bei den Grammys 2017 auf der Gewinnerlist. Ja, vor allem in der Countrywelt ist Lori McKenna als Songwriterin höchst etabliert. Aber was sie hier wieder an eigenem Material und eigener Musikalität abliefert, ist einfach faszinierend. "The tree" nimmt den Zuhörer mit auf eine von traumhafter Melodik geprägte Reise durch entspannte, manchmal etwas melancholische Gefilde, von sehr fein instrumentierter und abgestimmter Singer Songwriter-Kunst, veredelt in wunderbaren, semi-akustischen, meist sehr entspannten Full Band-Arrangements zwischen Americana, Roots, Folk und Country.Ihr Songwriting ist schlicht grandios und stellt sie längst auf eine Stufe mit Größen wie Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter und Lucinda Williams. Exzellent produziert hat übrigens erneut der momentan allgegenwärtige "Guru" Dave Cobb (u.a. Chris Stapleton).11 absolute, neue Songperlen von Lori McKenna. Höchst beeindruckend, charismatisch und wunderschön!

Hier noch ein Original U.S.-Review:

It's difficult to know where to start when praising Lori McKenna's "The Tree." It's so good in so many ways. Artists like Little Big Town and Tim McGraw have benefited greatly from recording McKenna songs, yet it's unlikely many mainstream country music fans recognize her name. Fans of Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves, two women that consistently and effectively write straight from the heart, would love McKenna's songs -- if only given the chance.
McKenna writes with incisive emotional intelligence, which is why "A Mother Never Rests," a song praising mothers, deftly avoids anything resembling cliché or simplistic sentimentality. Lines like, "She only sits for a minute/She's a hummingbird in the living room," paint an accurate picture that trumps any Hallmark card. McKenna closes with "Like Patsy Would," which finds her aiming to "sing it like Patsy (Cline) would." And to prove her point, she writes and performs a few songs that Cline would have been proud to sing, and she sings them just like a broken-hearted Cline. "You Won't Even Know I'm Gone," sung over a simple, finger-picked arrangement, is an underappreciated woman's goodbye note. It's as heartfelt and tragic as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." "You Can't Break A Woman" also details a bad relationship, only in the case, the woman has decided to stick it out and stay. "Whiskey breath don't faze her anymore," she concedes.
Two of the centerpiece songs concern aging. "People Get Old" grapples with the mystery of aging. "If we live long enough, the people we love get old," McKenna muses. This is track is followed by "Young and Angry Again," a song that longs for youthful days of irresponsibility. Country radio is oversaturated with songs about high school glory days, but McKenna reaches for feelings far deeper than mere memories of high school sweethearts; she wants to recapture an elusive mindset only found in the young.
The title track meditates on identity. As much as we like to think of ourselves as dynamic and ever-changing, the saying "The apple never falls far from the tree" oftentimes proves too true. No matter how far we may think we've strayed from our roots, we're sometimes more like that stable and unmovable tree than we'd like to believe. We rarely move too far away from the house that built us.
Lori McKenna's "The Tree" can be likened to a long and meaningful evening with a dear friend, where the conversation delves deeply into the most significant issues in life. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it heals, but it's always never less than unavoidably engaging.
(Dan MacIntosh / Country Standard Time)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. A Mother Never Rests - 2:45
2. The Fixer - 3:28
3. People Get Old - 3:42
4. Young and Angry Again - 3:37
5. The Tree - 3:23
6. You Won't Even Know I'm Gone - 2:17
7. Happy People - 3:26
8. You Can't Break a Woman - 3:13
9. The Lot Behind St. Mary's - 3:30
10. The Way Back Home - 3:02
11. Like Patsy Would - 2:58

Art-Nr.: 9655
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
A mother never rests
The fixer
Young and angry again
The tree
Happy people
You can't break a woman
Like Patsy would

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