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Lori McKenna with special guest Mark Erelli

Lori Mckenna

Mark Erelli

$26.00 +fee
BUY
Thursday
21
MAY
6:00pm Bar Opens
7:00pm Theater Doors Open
8:00pm Showtime
All Ages
WHERE

The Kessler

1230 W. Davis St.

Dallas, TX 75208

Lori McKenna

Home and the people who make it have captivated Lori McKenna for years. Over the last three decades, as she became a wife and mother of five, she has also emerged as one of the most respected, prolific singer-songwriters in popular music. Her 2016 release The Bird and the Rifle netted three Grammy nominations, along with Americana Music Association nods––all firsts for McKenna as an artist. Then, she made history: In 2016, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year two years in a row thanks to co-writing Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and penning Tim McGraw’s no. 1 “Humble and Kind” solo. Both songs also clinched back-to-back Grammy wins for Best Country Song. In 2017, she became the Academy of Country Music’s first female Songwriter of the Year. The Tree, her much-anticipated eleventh studio album, was released on July 20th, 2018 on CN Records via Thirty Tigers. Produced by Dave Cobb, The Tree, recently nominated for the 2019 Americana Awards Album of the Year, takes one of McKenna’s signature themes––family––and builds a tapestry of experiences she has lived and overheard, been told and dreamed up, to create a stunning ode to life’s defining relationships.

 

 

Mark Erelli

“All the things that brought me comfort, they just seem tired and worn, what always used to work ain’t working anymore,” sings award-winning, Massachusetts-based singer/songwriter Mark Erelli, a few songs into his forthcoming release Blindsided. Mining the same gritty yet soulful territory as John Hiatt’s Bring the Family or Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time, Erelli contemplates the delicate tension between love and commitment, faith and family, disillusionment and hope. But this isn’t a confession from the therapist’s couch, it’s rock ’n roll, and Erelli is clearly taking his cues from heroes like Petty and Prine.

Erelli has forged a colorful career by making the art of “being everywhere all the time” seem effortless. It’s hard to think of another artist who seems equally at home serving as a sideman for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, as he does writing and producing his own material, like last year’s “By Degrees,” on which he was joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow. That song was nominated for “Song of The Year” at the 2019 Americana Music Awards and served to reintroduce Erelli to a wider audience. And just in time, because Blindsided combines the exuberance of Erelli’s signature sound with the wisdom that comes with over 20 years of songwriting, capturing an artist at a point in his career where he is clearly digging deep and swinging for the fences.

Mark Erelli Bio 2020 “All the things that brought me comfort, they just seem tired and worn, what always used to work ain’t working anymore,” sings award-winning, Massachusetts-based singer/songwriter Mark Erelli, a few songs in to his forthcoming release Blindsided. It’s a realization that has washed over many of us, like headlights sweeping across the bedroom ceiling on a sleepless night. But for a songwriter, such an appraisal is a call to action. Erelli rose to the occasion with a writing streak, generating well over 30 new songs to choose from for his newest record. He ultimately gravitated toward those that wrestled with the questions we encounter in the “middle,” the certain point in life when you reflect on your hopes and dreams and what you thought were certainties. “One glance at the headlines and anyone can see that we are questioning the stories we’ve told ourselves and, in many cases, they aren’t proving as durable as they once seemed,” he explains. “Do the things I took for granted as truth when I was younger still hold up? What can I still lean on? Am I strong enough for the ones I love to lean on me? The answers, if there even are answers, can be both unsettling and reaffirming.” The aptly titled Blindsided was forged in this process of reckoning, of taking stock of the soul, and being pleasantly surprised. Mining the same gritty yet soulful territory as John Hiatt’s Bring the Family or Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time, Erelli contemplates the delicate tension between love and commitment, faith and family, disillusionment and hope. But this isn’t a confession from the therapist’s couch, it’s rock ’n roll, and Erelli is clearly taking his cues from heroes like Petty and Prine. Over the course of Blindsided’s 11 tracks, the message of each song is distilled to its purest form, as fearlessly honest in perspective as it is straightforward in its delivery. To create the soundtrack that reflected this reinvigorated approach to songwriting, Erelli consulted his mental list of fellow musicians with whom he had forged connections in recent years and realized they all lived in Nashville. So, he made the trek to Music City, with best friend and multi-instrumentalist/producer Zachariah Hickman in tow, curious to see what effect a change in geography, personnel, and context would produce. With the help of drummer Jamie Dick (Rhiannon Giddens, Our Native Daughters), guitarist Sadler Vaden (Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter), Kai Welch (Molly Tuttle, Kacey Musgraves) on keys, producer Hickman on bass, and Dan Knobler (Lake Street Dive, Caroline Spence) recording and mixing, the result couldn’t have been more unanticipated. Against the backdrop of Blindsided’s hungrier, hook-laden sound, with the inspired addition of a string quartet on half of the album, Erelli has never sounded more passionate or vital. Erelli has forged a colorful career by making the art of “being everywhere all the time” seem effortless. It’s hard to think of another artist who seems equally at home serving as a sideman for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, as he does writing and producing his own material, like last year’s “By Degrees,” on which he was joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow. That song was nominated for “Song of The Year” at the 2019 Americana Music Awards and served to reintroduce Erelli to a wider audience. And just in time, because Blindsided combines the exuberance of Erelli’s signature sound with the wisdom that comes with over 20 years of songwriting, capturing an artist at a point in his career where he is clearly digging deep and swinging for the fences. “In one of my favorite Tom Petty songs, he sings ‘it took a world of trouble, took a world of tears, it took a long time to get back here,’” Erelli says. “I think I know exactly how he felt.”