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Lori McKenna brings country folk to Marblehead

Posted by boston.com  January 28, 2014 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by the me & thee Coffeehouse:

On Friday, February 28, the me & thee welcomes back Lori McKenna, one of the best singer of sad songs currently working today. Her new album Massachusetts, is full of such songs and gives us a peak into a “life” – not necessarily Lori’s but it may be yours.  Lori sold out the last time she was here so get your tickets early. 

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Dietrich Strause opens the show. He writes poignantly about romance, innocence and the opposite poles of country vs. city life and is a first-rate lyricist.  Doors open at 7:30 PM for this 8:00 PM show. The me & thee coffeehouse is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead at 28 Mugford Street.
 
Here is Lori McKenna’s story in her own words – “My name is Lori McKenna.  I released my 6th full-length studio record in April 2013.  It is called Massachusetts. I’m a housewife and a townie.  I am a songwriter – or song chaser depending on the day.  A song can be a tricky thing – no matter how simple it is.  And most songs have a tendency to haunt me. But I believe that blessings come in disguise and that demons do too.  And that, if we work it out right, our demons can be our blessings. 

The long version of the short story is that I’ve been writing songs since I was a kid.  I grew up in a loving and musical family.  I got married when I was 19.  We have a bunch of kids.  When I was 27 someone talked me into playing at a local open mic.   

By then we had 3 of our 5 kids and those kids unknowingly gave me just enough confidence to try something so out of character.  The problem was – Boston has a tremendously nurturing music scene, and I fell hard in love with it – and they let me in. So I put out some records.  I played shows.  Faith Hill and Tim McGraw championed my little songs and I made some more records.  I was on Oprah with Faith.  I played the Grand Ole Opry.  I played stadiums and clubs and church basements.  

And along the way I had a number of people hold me up and help me out. The short version of the long story is that music has provided me with some of the most important and meaningful relationships in my life.  I wanted to make a record with some of those people who have been part of my musical life since its very beginning.  It was time to make a record in the community of musicians that gave me the opportunity to learn who I am as a songwriter. “
 
Since moving to Boston in 2008, Dietrich Strause has been touring the east and west coasts and Ireland, honing his craft as a songwriter and performer. He has also been fortunate to share the stage and the road with Aoife O’Donovan, The David Wax Museum, and Ben Sollee, among many others.. He’s worked as a dog-walker, a subject in medical research studies, a construction worker, and recorded music for Chinese textbooks. All of this comes out in his own music. 

His latest album (his third)  Little Stones to Break the Giant’s Heart stands tall, supported by a backbone of melodies and lyrics diligently crafted by Strause. The songs are a comfortable and careful mix of journeys, clever literary references, and striking imagery. Strause’s songs are versatile — personal, but universal enough to hook the masses.
 
Tickets for the performance by Lori McKenna with Dietrich Strause opening are $22 in advance and $25 at the door. Limited student tickets available for $10. Tickets are available online at www.meandthee.org and can be purchased in person at the Spirit of ’76 Bookstore or the Arnould Gallery in Marblehead. The Landing Restaurant at 81 Front Street, Marblehead offers a 10% discount on dinner if you show your ticket or receipt.  Enjoy a meal before the show! As at all me & thee coffeehouse events, refreshments are available, including homemade pastries, coffee, and teas. The me & thee has a handicapped-accessible entrance and an accessible bathroom, is a smoke-free environment, and is easily reached by MBTA bus.

 The me & thee is one of the oldest continually running acoustic coffeehouses in New England, and probably the country. It has been and will always be a volunteer, non-profit organization sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead.  For information and directions, call 781-631-8987 or check the website at www.meandthee.org.

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