Lori McKenna Streaming new album “The Bird & The Rifle”

Lori McKenna’s anticipated new album, The Bird & The Rifle, is now exclusively streaming in full as part of NPR Music’s First Listen series. In her glowing review, NPR Music’s Ann Powers calls the album, “one of 2016’s best releases” and goes on to assert, “There’s a heroic aspect to McKenna’s sound, but it’s the steadfast kind, never grandstanding.”

Out next Friday, July 29 on CN Records via Thirty Tigers, The Bird & The Rifle is now available to pre-order, which includes immediate downloads of three album tracks.

In celebration of the release, McKenna will embark on a nationwide headlining tour this summer and fall––her first since 2013. The tour kicks off tomorrow at Jammin Java in Vienna, VA and includes stops at Nashville’s City Winery on July 29, New York’s City Winery on August 4, Boston’s The Sinclair on August 13 and L.A.’s Hotel Café on October 21, among others. See below for complete details.

Produced by Grammy Award-wining producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton), The Bird & The Rifle includes ten original songs, including McKenna’s own version of “Humble & Kind,” which was recently taken to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts by Tim McGraw––the first time in more than four years a song written by one person has topped the charts (the last was Taylor Swift’s “Ours”). Read more about the remarkable accomplishment via Billboard.

Of the song, McKenna comments, “I can say it’s one of my favorite songs, mostly because I had my kids in my head the whole time I was trying to write it. My kids know that it’s theirs, and it’s nice in that way. It worked out pretty well.”

She adds of working with Cobb, “This record was made in a way that’s very different from anything else I’ve ever done. It’s very much me––this record and the songs. But it’s like I took the ten songs and just got in someone else’s car and took a ride down the coast. I completely plugged into the world of Dave Cobb.”

Additionally, Cobb remarks, “I really wanted to work with Lori because of the truth and honesty she carries with her pen. I love her wit and humor and the fact she writes her own songs purely for the sake of art.”

The Bird & The Rifle is McKenna’s tenth studio album and follows 2014’s acclaimed Numbered Doors, which Rolling Stone named one of the 40 Best Country Albums of 2014. Throughout her prolific career, McKenna has consistently received widespread critical acclaim, including notice from American Songwriter, Paste, CMT, The New York Times and The Boston Globe, who described 2011’s Lorraine as, “13 perfectly crafted gems of observational insight” and Country Weekly who calls her “one of the finest and most descriptive writers in any genre.”

In addition to her success as an artist, McKenna remains of the most sought after songwriters in the industry, with songs recorded by top artists including Faith Hill, Reba, Alison Krauss, Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban. Her credits include the double Platinum Billboard No. 1 hit, “I Want Crazy,” by Hunter Hayes and radio favorites like Little Big Town’s “Your Side of the Bed” and “Sober.” She also penned Little Big Town’s massive 2015 hit, “Girl Crush,” which remained on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for eleven weeks and netted McKenna CMA and NSAI Awards for “Song of the Year” and her first Grammy Award for “Best Country Song.”

While Nashville has become an important artistic and business hub, Stoughton, Massachusetts has remained home. A married mom to five kids, McKenna explains that leaving Massachusetts just never made sense. “My whole family is here,” she says. “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.”


1. Wreck You (Lori McKenna/Felix McTeigue)

2. The Bird & The Rifle (Lori McKenna/Caitlyn Smith/Troy Verges)

3. Giving Up On Your Hometown (Lori McKenna)

4. Halfway Home (Lori McKenna/Barry Dean)

5. Humble & Kind (Lori McKenna)

6. We Were Cool (Lori McKenna)

7. Old Men Young Women (Lori McKenna/Luke Laird/Barry Dean)

8. All These Things (Lori McKenna/Liz Rose)

9. Always Want You (Lori McKenna/Liz Rose/Hillary Lindsey)

10. If Whiskey Were A Woman (Lori McKenna)


July 22—Vienna, VA—Jammin Java

July 29—Nashville, TN—City Winery (SOLD OUT)

July 30—Atlanta, GA—City Winery

August 4—New York, NY—City Winery

August 13—Boston, MA—The Sinclair

August 19—Brownfield, ME—Stone Mountain Arts Center

August 20—Plymouth, MA—Spire Arts Center

September 9—Northampton, MA—Iron Horse

September 10—Ogunquit, ME—Jonathan’s

September 20-25—Nashville, TN—AmericanaFest 2016

October 12—San Antonio, TX—Tobin Center for the Arts

October 13—Austin, TX—One World Theater

October 14—Houston, TX—Dosey Doe

October 15—Dallas, TX—Kessler Theatre

October 21—Los Angeles, CA—Hotel Café

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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