Lori finds Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam drawing from the songbook of noted singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy winner Lori McKenna. Recorded at the famed Sam Phillips Studios (Memphis, TN) with producer Matt Ross-Spang, Beam takes on four of his favourite McKenna tracks with help from Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, known collectively for their work in the indie-art-pop band Finom (formerly known as Ohmme).
Beam came to McKenna’s music a few years ago on the suggestion of a friend. As the lock down dragged on, Beam found himself, like so many, turning to music for comfort. McKenna’s catalog of work was never far from reach.
Taken by her heart-on-your-sleeve confessional style storytelling, Beam admits it’s a trait that draws him to McKenna and something not often found in his own songwriting. As a well-known interpreter of other artists’ songs, when the time came for him to shake off the pandemic cobwebs and record, McKenna’s songs were as fresh and familiar to Beam as his own. Traveling to Memphis in March of 2021, Beam invited Cunningham and Stewart to join him in the studio.
During the three days of recording, Ross-Spang was a logical choice to take the helm as he had handled Iron & Wine’s 2019 collaboration with Calexico, the twice Grammy nominated Years to Burn, and had also worked on two of McKenna’s own records. Having enjoyed successful solo careers outside of Finom, Cunningham and Stewart bring their own touches to Lori and helped Beam find even further depths to McKenna’s songwriting. Together the trio sonically reinterpreted her plaintive odes into a tapestry of sounds effortlessly blending their signature singing styles and breathing fresh life into the lyrics.