Lori McKenna knew she was going to like working with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton) right away.
The Stoughton, Massachusetts, singer-songwriter, who copped her own Grammy gold as co-writer of the Little Big Town smash “Girl Crush,” says she already loved Cobb’s work with Isbell in particular. But she was further sold “when I went in to meet him and he reminded me of one of my brothers,” McKenna says with a laugh. “Did you ever meet somebody that you don’t know at all and they feel like they could be in your family? That’s how I instantly felt with him.”
“Wreck You” is the first single from McKenna’s upcoming album The Bird & the Rifle, due out July 29th (listen to the song below). It was also one of Cobb’s favorites to record, says the mother of five who has toggled between her own recording career and writing hits for others. (She penned Tim McGraw’s recent Number One “Humble and Kind” — which also appears on McKenna’s album.)
The ruminative “Wreck You,” featuring lovely filigreed guitar work in the vein of James Taylor, finds the narrator worrying over troubling changes in a relationship that might be her fault. “Ultimately, we’ve all felt that: ‘I’m not trying to hurt you,'” she says.
McKenna has actually had the song in her repertoire for seven or eight years and others have recorded it — including Heidi Newfield — but never got around to cutting it herself until now. “The song just won’t die,” she says.
McKenna hits the road this summer for a cross-country club tour, including City Winery in Nashville July 29th and the Sinclair in Boston August 13th.
Here’s The Bird & the Rifle‘s track list:
1. Wreck You (McKenna, Felix McTeigue)
2. The Bird & the Rifle (McKenna, Caitlyn Smith, Troy Verges)
3. Giving Up On Your Hometown (McKenna)
4. Halfway Home (McKenna, Barry Dean)
5. Humble & Kind (McKenna)
6. We Were Cool (McKenna)
7. Old Men Young Women (McKenna, Luke Laird, Barry Dean)
8. All These Things (McKenna, Liz Rose)
9. Always Want You (McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey)
10. If Whiskey Were a Woman (McKenna)
Here are McKenna’s upcoming tour dates:
July 22 – Vienna, Virginia @ Jammin Java
July 29 – Nashville @ City Winery
July 30 – Atlanta @ City Winery
August 4 – New York @ City Winery
August 13 – Boston @ The Sinclair
August 19 – Brownfield, Maine @ Stone Mountain Arts Center
August 20 – Plymouth, MA @ Spire Arts Center
September 9 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
September 10 – Ogunquit, Maine @ Jonathan’s
October 12 – San Antonio, Texas @ Tobin Center for the Arts
October 13 – Austin, Texas @ One World Theater
October 14 – Houston, Texas @ Dosey Doe
October 15 – Dallas, Texas @ Kessler Theatre
October 21 – Los Angeles @ Hotel Cafe