Daily Discovery: Kenna Mae, “Gonna Make it Home”


Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: Kenna Mae

SONG: “Gonna Make It Home”

HOMETOWNborn and raised in Sidney, Iliinois

CURRENT LOCATIONNew Orleans, Louisiana

AMBITIONSI dream to have a pull behind trailer and/or a livable van to tour the country with, writing and playing music, and do well enough to do so for as long as I desire.

TURN-OFFSBanjo players. Cockroaches. Cold pizza. Overly attractive guys with awesome personalities who write incredibly bad songs.

TURN-ONSBanjos. Brussel Sprouts. Pasta. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. Bare feet, beer bellies, and endless cigarettes.

DREAM GIGOpening for John Moreland, and looking to the right and seeing Bonnie Raitt observing with approval, to a room full of people who want to be there more than anything, who listen and identify with what I’m saying.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “I wished it’d been easier, instead of any longer” – Patty Griffin, Top of the World

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “In the Meantime” Joe Pug

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITHTina Fey, Robin Williams, Gillian Welch, John Hartford, Jason Isbell.

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCEI was singing The Ballad of Hollis Brown at The Urbana Hootenanny at The Rose Bowl and I got my first ever ‘Yip!” from the audience. Up until then i’d only yipped and heard yips during hot fiddle solos and flat-picking guitars…i’d never heard a yip during vocals…it was just a strange moment, all of the sudden I felt like I belonged there in that little country bar. It was awesome.

I WROTE “Gonna Make It Home” back when I was still living in Urbana last year. At first I didn’t think it was any good, I thought it was one of my “throw away” songs. Songwriting for me can be weird sometimes, somehow I have a way of predicting my own future, or maybe by singing the words, I bring events to fruition. This fortune-telling habit of mine is only comforting when it comes Gonna Make it Home. I don’t write songs for any particular reason, songs just come out; its all cathartic, both the writing portion and every single performance. This song is always changing its meaning to me, on its own accord. I suppose at this point I wrote it to give some kind of hope to myself, to keep it with me when things are hardest. To remind myself that no matter my mistakes my family is always there. There is no barrier that can keep me from making it back to them.

Neil Finn & Paul Kelly: Goin’ Your Way