Christmas Is Right Here – The New Holiday EP from Lori McKenna

Last Updated on December 23, 2021 by Lil Ginge

I was looking for a really good new Christmas collection to listen to. I found it with Christmas Is Right Here, a new EP dropped by country music and Americana singer, songwriter and musician Lori McKenna. Yes, even the Paul McCartney cover of “Wonderful Christmastime” is really good. And that song usually makes me puke.

McKenna’s new EP was produced by Nashville music stalwarts Luke Laird, Barry Dean along with McKenna herself. It was recorded and mixed by Mike Stankiewicz and mastered by Nathan Dantzler. It was released on November 19, 2021 on the C&N Records label.

On the new Christmas EP, McKenna says, “It was such a joy making this holiday music with my Nashville family of co-writers, musicians and friends. I feel like we hit on some of the emotions that come with the holidays—the easy feelings and the harder ones. It seems impossible for me to talk or sing about the holidays without going back in time and I feel so blessed to have the music to come back with me.”

About Christmas Is Right Here by Lori McKenna

All original songs were written by McKenna along with co-writers including Laird, Dean, Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose, Dustin Christensen and Jordyn Shellhart. Musicians featured on the album include Fred Eltringham (drums, percussion), Eli Beaird (bass), Kris Donegan (acoustic guitar), Justin Ostrander (electric guitar), David Dorn (keys), Charles Judge (keys, strings), Barry Dean (mellotron, background vocals), and Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird (background vocals). 

About Lori McKenna

Lori McKenna is one of the most successful songwriters and Americana musicians in the Nashville scene. She is a 3-time Grammy winner who has written songs for everyone from:

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Little Big Town
  • Tim McGraw
  • And Faith Hill.

She also co-wrote the song “Always Remember Us This Way” from the smash film A Star Is Born, which means she’s also written for Lady Gaga in a way.

Though McKenna’s career is largely based on writing for others, she has produced some stunning albums in her own right. These released include The Balladeer (2020), The Tree (2018), and The Bird & The Rifle (2016).

The Tree was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2019 Americana Music Awards. It was mentioned on many best-of lists as well including those from Entertainment Weekly, Paste, Slate, The A.V. Club, The Washington Post and Rolling Stone.

2021 has also been a good year for McKenna as an artist. She won her third Grammy Award for Best Country Song for The Highwomen’s “Crowded Table.” She has previously won for both Song of the Year at the CMA Awards and Best Country Song at the Grammys for Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind.” In addition to all that, McKenna became the first female ever to win Songwriter of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Christmas Is Right Here Tracklist

Here is the complete tracklisting for the Christmas Is Right Here EP:

1. Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney)

2. Christmas Without Crying (Lori McKenna, Luke Laird, Barry Dean)

3. North Pole (Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose)

4. Still Christmas In Nashville (Lori McKenna, Dustin Christensen, Jordyn Shellhart)

5. Hail Mary (Lori McKenna, Luke Laird, Barry Dean)

6. Grateful (Lori McKenna)

Final Review of Christmas Is Right Here by Lori McKenna

This is not your grandmother’s Christmas album, which probably sounds like some combination of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Andy Williams. Rather, this is an earthy country-infused album with lots of shimmering and rimming acoustic instrumentals, lush and rich, ponderous and slightly melancholy melodies.

If you’re looking for something a little different to listen to this Christmas, something a little more raw, honest, real and true, Lori McKenna’s Christmas Is Right Here is probably the EP for you.

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