Lori McKenna: One Of Country Music’s Most Talented Songwriters

A woman with long hair
Becky Fluke

I have always had a special place in my heart for Lori McKenna.

Maybe it is because she is from Massachusetts, as am I. Maybe it is because she writes about real life; affairs, heartbreak, growing up, love, real stuff. And it doesn’t hurt that she works with my favorite producer, Dave Cobb.

Lori McKenna is almost like a rare bird in the music industry. She somehow manages to live in Massachusetts and write songs at her kitchen table, yet often travels to Nashville write with some of the biggest names in country music.

If you don’t think you know who Lori is, yes you do. She has written and cowritten some of the biggest hits of the past decade. “Humble and Kind” recorded by Tim McGraw is a song that Lori wrote on her own. She has also scored a handful of cuts from Little Big Town, including “Girl Crush,” “Happy People,” and “Sugar Coat.” Another impressive cut that she secured was on George Strait’s most recent record with a song called “God and Country Music.”

The best part about Lori McKenna is that she is just like us. She hustles and she works hard. And to be honest, most people wouldn’t know who she was if she walked past them on the street. You’d never know that she’s a Grammy winner. But that is the coolest part about her. She is someone who is able to have a life out of the spotlight, yet she has been a part of some of country music’s biggest moments.

Lori often writes with her friends Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey, collectively referred to as “The Love Junkies,” (a very fitting name). The trio has found some major success together as they have cowritten songs like Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty,” Miranda Lambert’s “It All Comes Out in the Wash,” and more. They even got to make their Opry debut as a trio back in 2018.

By the way, Lori McKenna is a songwriter that you must see live. Her stories are ones that you will never forget. She is wise, funny, and ultimately, you will feel like you are sitting down with family or an old friend. And she plays her guitars in funky tunings that will often give her time to get a laugh out of you as she tunes up. Not to mention how refreshing it is to see an artist who is as humble as her.

Beyond the music that Lori has written for other musicians, she has quite the catalogue of her own albums. This year, she released her new album The Balladeer, which was exactly what we needed in such a strange year. It also made the Whiskey Riff Top 25 Albums of 2020 list.

If you’ve never checked out Lori’s music, I highly recommend that you get on that ASAP.

Here are some of my favorite songs of hers:

The Fixer

When You’re My Age (ft. Hillary Lindsey & Liz Rose)

Old Men Young Women

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock