Lori McKenna


Grammy-Award Winning Folk, Americana and Country Singer-Songwriter

The Town In Your Heart Tour


Why you should see this show…

Lori McKenna is a folk, Americana, and country music singer-songwriter who was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2016 and won Best Country Song for co-writing the hit single “Girl Crush” performed by Little Big Town. In 2017, she won the Best Country Song Grammy for writing “Humble and Kind” performed by Tim McGraw. McKenna along with Lady Gaga, Natalie Hemby and Hillary Lindsey wrote the second single off the soundtrack to the 2018 film A Star Is Born called “Always Remember Us This Way.” McKenna performed backing vocals along with Lindsey and Hemby, and the song received a nomination for Song of the Year at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.

McKenna has become “one of the industry’s most in-demand songwriters” writing for artists including Sara Evans, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. She wrote 10 songs that made it to the Billboard Hot Country list, including Hunter Hayes’ “I Want Crazy,” Faith Hill’s “Stealing Kisses,” Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind,” and Little Big Town’s “Your Side of the Bed,” “Sober,” and “Girl Crush.”

McKenna’s album The Bird and the Rifle was nominated for Best Americana Album at the 59th annual Grammy Awards, and the single “Wreck You” was nominated for Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance. McKenna was also nominated for the 2017 Americana Music Awards Artist of the Year.

Mark Erelli has released nine solo albums and three collaborative albums. His first recording for the Signature Sounds label, Compass & Companion, spent ten weeks in the Top Ten on the Americana Chart. Erelli has worked as a side musician for singer-songwriters Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter and has performed at various music festivals and shared the stage with John Hiatt, Dave Alvin, and Gillian Welch.


Lori McKenna Bio
On her latest release, The Balladeer, Lori McKenna offers her most uplifting and uptempo album in a catalog that spans more than 20 years. Her previous album, The Tree, was nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 2019 Americana Music Awards and received widespread critical acclaim, including landing on several “Best of 2018” lists by Entertainment Weekly, Paste, Slate, The A.V. Club, the Washington Post and Rolling Stone. In 2016, McKenna’s album The Bird & The Rifle was nominated for three Grammy awards as well as three Americana Awards.

In addition to her career as a solo artist, McKenna continues to enjoy tremendous success as one of the music industry’s most in-demand songwriters. In 2017, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award two years in a row. She also won back-to-back Grammys for Best Country Song for “Girl Crush,” performed by Little Big Town, and “Humble and Kind,” performed by Tim McGraw. This year, she won her third Best Country Song Grammy for co-writing “Crowded Table” with Brandi Carlile and Natalie Hemby, performed by the Highwomen. Moreover, she became the first female to ever win Songwriter of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2017. In addition to writing songs for a multitude of award-winning artists including Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood, McKenna also co-wrote “Always Remember Us This Way,” which was featured in the Academy Award-winning 2018 film “A Star Is Born.” She was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year for Best Country Song for co-writing “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” performed by Taylor Swift.



Mark Erelli Bio
During a performance in summer 2020, Mark Erelli looked down at his guitar neck and couldn’t believe what he saw. Or rather, what he couldn’t see: his fingers on the frets. Soon after, a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease, would bring some answers, but it also yielded new questions. Does diminished eyesight correlate with lesser insight? Does your songwriting change when your perception of the world around you changes? These questions, and Erelli’s hunt for creative agency, are at the heart of his new album Lay Your Darkness Down (Soundly Music).

Initially, Erelli’s new physical limitations created a feeling of immense isolation. In need of connection and catharsis, he turned as he often did to songwriting. “The only way I could console myself was to know that I was still going to be able to have some creative agency,” Erelli notes. “I could then bring whatever I was feeling or wanting to express into reality.” He began to craft songs with an intricate, labored approach like never before. “It’s much more like an oil painting, where you’re layering different tones and colors one at a time.” His initial painstaking approach was inspired by ‘70s musician Jeff Lynne, former ELO member and famed producer for George Harrison and Tom Petty. “I’ve never gotten this finely attuned to the level of musical and technical detail that I did this time around. That was probably a way of compensating for the lack of control that I had in other parts of my life,” he reflects on a time in the immediate wake of the diagnosis.

“I’m still very early in it, but there is also no way to know how quickly or how incrementally this will progress,” he says. “There’s a definite diagnosis, and embedded within that is this uncertainty. Will my condition remain fairly steady, or will I lose more sight?” It is this very uncertainty, however, that has brought Erelli mental clarity and a creative hunger.

Erelli turns adversity into finely embroidered rock songs that burn with urgency. Following full-bodied rock forebears Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison, Lay Your Darkness Down reflects on the unknown glories of this planet and love’s healing power. With an excited finger plucked acoustic guitar and vocal coos on “Sense of Wonder,” we’re reminded to dive into the world’s vibrancy with awe and unabashed joy. “It’s a fantastic world that we live in. It’s easy to forget, as the emails pile up and the deadlines and errands and all the bullshit, those small details that are both the small details that make the world so fabulous, along with the cosmic ones,” he adds.

Throughout this album, Erelli contains a similar sense of resolve and relatability to Petty’s Full Moon Fever. Although there’s plenty of shadow and light play on the album, Erelli makes clear that this project isn’t about blindness. Rather, these tracks document an artist’s reinvigorated lust for life. “I could not have accessed the emotions and the observations that inspired these songs without realizing that I was losing my sight.” He adds, “In some way, I am grateful for that.”

Older songs took on new meaning. Metaphors became literal. “I got my diagnosis and the song became literal. “Up against the night / It’s coming on strong,” he sings with resolve on “Up Against the Night.” The sun would start to go down, especially in the winter, and before I was aware of what was happening, I would be freaking out,” he says. The song nods to fear and doubt. Can he keep strong against the impending darkness? After singing and playing nearly every note and instrumental part, Erelli was ready to call in his normal rhythm section to replace his bass and drum parts, and enlisted co-writers like GRAMMY-winner Lori McKenna to help with songcraft. Lay Your Darkness Down morphed into a literal reconciliation of life’s trials and human frailties, the sound of adversity transformed into finely-embroidered rock n’ roll, burning with urgency. These songs are not only affirmations to keep moving forward with love and inner light, but a siren song for anyone lost amongst the shadows. Lay Your Darkness Down doesn’t hold grandiose answers for how to specifically maneuver unknown.

Mark Erelli reminds us to push forward through the fog; because we can’t see a path ahead, doesn’t mean we won’t get to the destination we’re in search of. Such as he sings on “Fuel for the Fire,” “You can’t live in fear / But you can use it as fuel for the fire.”


Dining Option

Our Concert Hall menu is fast to the table and allows you to dine right in your ticketed seat. Tableside food service will start 2 hours before showtime and the kitchen will close approximately halfway through the show. Tableside beverage service will continue throughout the concert.


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