Lori McKenna will perform with her band as part of the 2012 Rock and Blues Cruise Season Finale today, August 26. The cruise, presented by Club Passim, will also feature an opening guest set from rising singer-songwriter Liz Longley. The Rock and Blues Concert Cruise boards at 2:00pm and sails at 3:00pm on the Provincetown II out of the World Trade Center Pier, operated by Bay State Cruise Company, and provides one of the most unique concert experiences anywhere on the Boston Harbor. Tickets are available at www.rockandbluescruise.com.
At this point in her career, Lori McKenna’s story is somewhat legend. Her unusual combination of professional and personal life, at least in the context of the modern music industry, is well-documented. She grew up in Stoughton, 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 Lori to open mic nights and gave her confidence that she was good enough. After she and her husband Gene already had three children, Lori began performing her songs in public at age 27.)
McKenna eventually became a staple of the Boston singer songwriter scene, where she became friendly with Mary Gauthier. When Gauthier picked up and left for Nashville, she brought Lori’s music to the attention of her publisher. They got her music into the hands of Faith Hill, who fell hard for Lori’s songs. Hill recorded three of them for her album Fireflies. Lori’s way of articulating the love, pain and pathos of domestic life had a huge impact on Hill, and Hill’s very public championing of Lori’s music led other artists to Lori’s songs. Tim McGRaw, Carrie Underwood, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban and LeAnn Rimes are among the many that have recorded her songs in recent years.