The latest honors follow a series of breakthrough years for McKenna, who recently won “Song of the Year” at The 50th Annual CMA Awards for “Humble and Kind” (McGraw). McKenna is the first female songwriter to win back-to-back “Song of the Year” nods following last year’s breakthrough “Girl Crush” (co-written with Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey), which was also awarded “Best Country Song” at the 2016 Grammy Awards. This is the first time a songwriter has won the CMA award in consecutive years since Vince Gill won from 1991-1993. McKenna is also the first solo songwriter to win CMA’s “Song of the Year” award since 2011.
The Bird & The Rifle is out now on CN Records via Thirty Tigers (purchase here). Produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton), the album was recorded live over ten days in Nashville and has received overwhelming critical praise. NPR Music calls it “one of 2016’s best releases,” while Pitchfork asserts, “one of the most accomplished and devastating singer-songwriter albums of the year,” and The Washington Post declares, “the best-sounding album of McKenna’s 15-year recording career.”