A Conversation with Lori McKenna
Puremusic: Hi, Lori. This is Frank Goodman calling from Puremusic. How are you?
Lori McKenna: Good, Frank. How you doing?
PM: Very fine. Is this an okay time?
LM: I believe it is.
PM: Oh, that's great. Yeah, Melanie told me, "Hey, be prepared for kids to be part of the interview process."
LM: Well, I was going to warn you. I only have one with me at the moment, but he can make a lot of noise.
PM: Oh, yeah.
LM: He's sleeping right now. But my David is laying on top of me. He's going to be a year tomorrow. He's pretty good. My troubles arise when my three-year-old is around, and she's at school right now, so--
PM: Wow. So, since we already have, we might as well start with your family. David is on you right now.
LM: He doesn't like to sleep unless he's attached to somebody.
PM: Right. I know people like that.
LM: I don't blame them, I don't blame them. But he's laying on my arm right now. I'm sitting on the couch. I just fed him a bottle, and he fell asleep, so I figured I better stay here until I'm done with this phone call. [laughs]
PM: So David is one year old tomorrow.
PM: And your three-year-old is--
LM: Her name is Meghan. And she is at preschool. She goes to preschool around six hours a week, two mornings for about three hours at a time.
PM: Oh, that's not a lot of relief, but it's something.
LM: Yeah. It helps.
PM: That's a tough age.
LM: And she's the only girl. I mean, she just came out this way, but she sort of wants to run the show, let me tell you. She's the boss.
PM: Well, it's the age where women are going to run the show anyway.
PM: She's right in step.
LM: Yeah, yeah. And then I have Christopher who is eleven. And Mark is twelve, and my son Brian just turned sixteen the other day.
LM: So this is a big week at my house, because our oldest is sixteen and our baby is one. [laughs]
PM: What is your sixteen-year-old into? Is he listening to rap music, or what's his bag?
LM: No, thank God. The only music I really can't tolerate is rap. Raising my kids, I was very careful about what kind of music was around.
PM: Yeah, but you can't--
LM: You can't avoid it, I know. But my kids had Beatles posters on their walls by the time they were in kindergarten. We started them off carefully. We were pretty careful about what they listened to when we still had the chance to give them what we thought was important. My son Brian actually has his own band. He's into rock. He's into--I actually just got him Weezer's new record the other day.
PM: Right. That's a good record.
LM: Yeah, he loves it. I haven't gotten a chance to listen to it. But for his birthday he got a portable DVD player and the Metallica movie, a Weezer CD and--I forget what else he got. I did pick up Bruce Springsteen, but I told him I had to download it in the iPod before I can give that back to him.
LM: But he's good. I like the stuff that he likes, so...
PM: So he's got a rock 'n' roll mom, obviously. Is his dad also a rock 'n' roll dad?
LM: My husband is a plumber. He's a music listener--he listens to the music. He doesn't listen to the words--he's not a word guy, which is great for me, because he doesn't listen to anything I really say.
LM: I mean, I don't have to edit myself because I'm afraid that he's going to get upset, because he doesn't listen.
LM: He just listens to the whole thing. He painted our house last year listening to three records, and the whole time he listened to the same three records. He listened to Mark Erelli's record, Hillbilly Pilgrim, which was his favorite record of the year last year, and one of my favorites. And Mark is a good friend of mine, so I didn't mind listening to that a hundred times over. The O Brother soundtrack is my husband's favorite thing in the world.
PM: Wow. But he's more about the sound of it than the song.
LM: Yeah. I think it's that thing where certain music just gets in your soul or something, I don't know. So he listened to those two records--and Sara Evans' record that I just popped in there one day. And he doesn't know who she is, he doesn't care. He just likes the sound of the record. [laughs]
PM: What's his name?
LM: His name is Gene. He's funny.
PM: Wow, what a beautiful family you got there. continue