Erin McKeown And Rachel Maddow Co-Write A Song Via Text Message

Videos by American Songwriter

Singer/songwriter/activist Erin McKeown is combining her political passion and her music for her seventh album, MANIFESTRA, due out on January 15, 2013.

McKeown released the first single, “The Jailer,” last month and the song finds McKeown following the same trail that Ani DiFranco blazed in the ’90s.

The album also boasts a song McKeown co-wrote with longtime friend Rachel Maddow via text message, “Baghdad To The Bayou.”

Maddow describes the experience of working with McKeown in a press release:

“The first time I interviewed Erin McKeown, I botched it — I kept jumping in to finish her sentences, and to quote her own lyrics back to her (as if she didn’t know them already).  Erin played a song in studio that day, and at one point she stopped short in the middle of a line, and I took it upon myself to scream the rest of it out loud from across the room.  This does not constitute a good interview technique!  But it did start a very fun friendship.  And when Erin asked if I might want to collaborate on a new song for a Gulf Coast wildlife benefit we were both doing, I said yes — provided we could keep my weapons-grade singing voice out of the mix.  We started texting back and forth about it, and I realized that the experience I had in Louisiana covering the Deepwater Horizon disaster might reasonably become some lyrics.  I texted her the prose, she texted back the poetry, and a song was born.  A great Erin McKeown song that rather inexplicably has a little idea of mine in it.  I’ve never had an experience like it — I feel like I won the music fan lottery.”

MANIFESTRA will be released on McKeown’s own TVP Records.

You can get a free download of “The Jailer”at NPR Music.

Erin McKeown on Tour:
1/17: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
1/18: New York, NY @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
1/19: Brooklyn, NY @ Littlefield
1/20: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
1/21: Arlington, VA @ Iota
1/23: Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
1/24: Cleveland, OH @ Beachand Tavern
1/25: Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
1/26: Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center

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