Loreena McKennitt Announces New Album ‘The Road Back Home’

Juno Award-winning Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt has announced her highly anticipated 17th studio album, The Road Back Home. The new set will arrive on March 8.

The album was recorded in the summer of 2023 when Loreena performed at four folk festivals in Ontario, Canada. It’s a joyous return to her roots, a kind of musical winding back to the beginning of her career, her earliest days on the folk circuit and its characteristic culture of community.

“It was in Winnipeg in the 1970s where I first fell in love with Celtic music, nurtured in the aromatic walls of the Woodwright carpentry shop on Main Street, attended by likewise lovers of traditional music, especially that of the Bothy Band, Planxty, Steeleye Span, Maddy Prior and Alan Stivell,” McKennitt said in a statement. “Some attendees originating from Ireland and England came armed with their guitars, squeezeboxes and dulcimers, while others came with their voices lifting them into sea shanties and folk songs in multiple-part harmony. We’d leave those Sunday night sessions with hearts full of joy and our arms full of borrowed vinyl which we listened to night and day.”

She added, “I recently felt called to go back to revisit that time and place where I began in the 70s, being blessed to have encountered a wonderful local Celtic group to share that with. As we found ourselves performing at a handful of Ontario folk festivals in the summer of 2023, we decided to capture these performances, never knowing if we would be back this way again.

“Indeed, this field recording holds some of those very songs I first fell in love with, including ‘As I Roved Out’ and ‘Mary and the Soldier’ which I played over and over when busking. As at that first Winnipeg Folk Festival, these performances concluded with ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’—long-time friend James Keelaghan joined us on this song at our Owen Sound performance, as he had in those earlier Winnipeg days.

“There are many ways to define the word home… the structure in which we live, but also the cultural expressions of community which somehow reach into our hearts and souls without us completely understanding why. If it is true, home is where the heart is, well my heart has returned to a place I knew I always loved. The Road Back Home.”

Pre-order The Road Back Home.

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