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Arts Friday | Lori McKenna | America's Finest Roots Songwriter

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was head over heels in love with the music of Joni Mitchell — so much in love, in fact, that I turned around and married a woman (Cathy) who looked just like Joni Mitchell.

Raymond Tomlin and Cathy McLean, circa 1972

By the time the late 1970s rolled around, my woman singer-songwriter allegiance had switched definitively to Rickie Lee Jones — whose music became the soundtrack of my life through the late 1970s and 1980s, so much so, that Rickie Lee Jones also became the soundtrack of my children's lives — that'd be Jude and Megan — as well. In the times to come, I will write about my love for Rickie Lee Jones, which has not abated to this day.

Being a callow fellow, as time rolled on my allegiance to a woman singer-songwriter of melancholy countenance switched to Iris DeMent in the early 1990s — for me, there is no better, more reflective and more melancholy album that has ever been recorded than Ms. DeMent's 1993 release, My Life. Please find the entire album directly below. Have a listen ...

As I say, though, I am a callow fellow, and by the late 1990s I had found a new love — a Boston-suburb-based housewife, mother to five children, wife of a Boston firefighter and, by far, the best roots songwriter this century. On another day, I'll write about Lori McKenna at greater length. Today, you'll find four of her songs at the top of the column — four of my favourite songs written by and sung by Lori McKenna ... well worth a listen.

Recently, my friends and next door neighbours, Shirley Ross and Bill Tieleman celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary — I looked all over for Lori McKenna's Stealing Kisses somewhere online, but until a couple of days ago, I couldn't find it (and, truth to tell, I bet the video below won't last long online — you'll want to listen to Stealing Kisses while the opportunity is provided to you). Here is one of my favourite Lori McKenna songs.

Dedicated to Bill Tieleman and Shirley Ross, Happy 25th Anniversary ...



Posted by Raymond Tomlin at November 24, 2017 12:44 AM in Music

   

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