Lori McKenna, the celebrated songwriter and country/folk/Americana singer from Massachusetts, announced on her website this week that she will be releasing a new ten-song all-acoustic album this fall called Numbered Doors. She tweeted later that the release date will be September 23rd.
McKenna released four critically-acclaimed independent album early in her career, but it wasn't until 2004 until she became the sought-after songwriter she is today. It was then that McKenna signed a publishing deal with Nashville's Harlan Howard Music after fellow singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier shared McKenna's Bittertown with Melanie Howard. McKenna gained more attention in 2005, when Faith Hill recorded covers of four of McKenna's songs – three of which (including the title track) appeared on Hill's 2005 release Fireflies, the fourth as an exclusive to the iTunes Store.
McKenna parlayed her contribution to Hill's Fireflies into both an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show along with Hill, and a record deal with Warner Brothers Nashville. WB soon re-released McKenna's Bittertown on its label. In 2007, McKenna toured with Hill and Tim McGraw on the Soul2Soul Tour, accompanied by singer-songwriter/instrumentalist Mark Erelli and guitarist Russell Chudnofsky.
In addition to her own albums, McKenna has contributed a cover of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" to the 2005 "High School Reunion" compilation. In 2007, McKenna recorded a cover of Neil Young's "The Needle and the Damage Done" for the American Laundromat Records benefit CD Cinnamon Girl - Women Artists Cover Neil Young For Charity. Also, McKenna helped write "Most of Me", "Latest Mistake" and "Can't You Just Adore Her?" on Mandy Moore's album Wild Hope (2007), and "Everblue" on Amanda Leigh (2009). Also of note, Lori McKenna's song "Bible Song" from Bittertown was recorded by country artist Sara Evans on her Real Fine Place album released in 2005. Lori also contributed a song titled "I'm Workin'", recorded by Tim McGraw on his Let It Go album, released in 2007, as well as a song entitled "True Believer", recorded by Jimmy Wayne on his 2008 album, Do You Believe Me Now.
Unglamorous, was released on August 14, 2007, from Warner Bros. Nashville and McGraw and noted Nashville producer Byron Gallimore’s label, Stylesonic Records. The album has released two non-charting singles. McKenna parted ways with Warner Bros. in 2008.
UMPG Nashville signed McKenna to an exclusive publishing agreement. Her penultimate album is called Lorraine and was released on January 25, 2011 under Signature Sounds.
Her latest album is called Massachusetts, published on April 23, 2013 under the label 1-2-3-4-GO!.
In 2013, three songs co-written by McKenna entered the charts: "I Want Crazy" by Hunter Hayes, "Your Side of the Bed" by Little Big Town, and "Sober", also by Little Big Town.