If you were to believe her lyrics to be strictly autobiographical, you might think a conversation with singer-songwriter Lori McKenna would be less than uplifting. Her song “If He Tried” reveals the disappointment of a woman whose partner shows lukewarm affection at best. "Lorraine", the lead title of her album of the same name, speaks of the daunting task of filling her mother’s shoes after she died prematurely when Lori was seven. Her country-laced twang that calls me home to my Southern roots every time I listen to it is merely her singer’s voice. Her speaking voice reveals her lifelong residency in Stoughton, Massachusetts.
A paradox? It’s what makes Lori so intriguing.
Clearly, this artist knows who she is. She is about family, songwriting and her art. And she does it with the most amazing smile that radiates through the phone.
When I asked her how she manages five children and a skyrocketing music career, she laughed. Her life has gone full circle, she says. While her four brothers essentially raised her after her mother’s passing, her older young adult children are helping out with her two youngest kids before her husband gets home from work. She is living her life’s dream. The hardest challenge is balancing her passion with her family obligations, but she feels blessed to be able to spend as much time as she does being able to make a living doing what she loves.