The Bird & The Rifle
On her Dave Cobb-produced latest, country singer/songwriter Lori McKenna shows her remarkable facility for conveying the inner lives of women trapped in soured relationships.
The songs on her latest album don’t veer too far from anything she has done before, but The Bird & the Rifle may do for McKenna, career-wise, what Traveller did for veteran songwriter Chris Stapleton last year. McKenna has a remarkable facility for conveying the inner lives of women trapped in soured relationships; that may not be an easy sell for the conservative playlists of country radio, but it makes for one of the most accomplished and devastating singer-songwriter albums of the year. McKenna even worked with producer Dave Cobb, who helmed Traveller. As he’s done with so many artists from Jason Isbell to Sturgill Simpson to literally anybody on his recent Southern Family compilation, he gives the music a lived-in quality, emphasizing an amiable acoustic strum, a relaxed backing band, and the ragged texture of McKenna’s voice.