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Lori McKenna Celebrates '1988' at the CMA Theater

Songwriter Lori McKenna is best known for her hits written for artists like Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, The Highwomen, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Swift. Still, the Massachusetts native creates records of her own every now and again, the latest being 1988 which taps into a bit more of the edgier side of McKenna with standout guitars and drums complimenting her storytelling. McKenna celebrated the record in Nashville at the CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 5th.

McKenna kicked off the evening with the title track dedicated to her husband; 1988 was the year the two got married. At the end of each chorus, McKenna pointed to the crowd while singing "I hope you understand / I've been your biggest fan / Since 1988."


After the opening, McKenna spoke on playing in the city of Nashville, describing the city as a "home away from home." The singer also told the crowd the inspiration for the new LP was rock music and big-sounding guitars. 1988 is the fourth project McKenna worked on with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb. Even though the essence strays a bit away from the typical singer-songwriter folk sound, McKenna assured the audience, "I'm still obsessed with getting old and drinking too much wine."


Throughout the show, McKenna shared stories with her crowd. She spoke a little about her dad whose turning 80 this fall as she dedicated"People Get Old" to him. She also tapped into her older catalog and sang the tune "The Bird & The Rifle" from her 2016 record. During "Happy People," which was co-written by rising star Hailey Whitters and cut by Little Big Town, she noted that it was "one of the happiest songs I've written in my whole life."