Kathy MatteaIn the final days before the sun is blotted out from the sky by a rogue rock spinning around the Earth....


the responsible singer-songwriter takes to the mountains of North Carolina to impart her wisdom to the assembled masses: in Kathy's case with a keynote speech at the Southeastern Regional Folk Alliance conference at Montreat in May, then returning to the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College in July.  She gives and she gives..........and maybe vacations a little......


"Then what???" you say.  "Once the sun has reclaimed its rightful place in the sky, what will she do to carry on?" about a few live performance concerts in various cities and towns throughout the great nation, to show the world we will not be intimidated by a big round chunk of cheese bullying OUR Sun!!!!

Stand up for our favorite ball of gas by attending a show in your area:


September 8 - Fordyce NE

September 15 - Lewisburg WV

October 19  - Norfolk CT

October 20 - Northampton MA


For details and more tour dates click here


"But how will she prepare for the next eclipse????"




Kathy is very possibly hard at work on a new album, which may or may not be co-produced by her pal Tim O'Brien, and which very probably will be available to purchase and enjoy well before the next full solar eclipse!!!!

Now, don't you feel better?!??!!



Kathy Mattea ""Acoustic Living Room" w/Bill Cooley music sampler






kathy mattea and bill cooley

Photos: Rene Scheiderer


Acoustic Living Room ..............who knew???


What began as an experiment-- trying out a wide range of new songs and styles with a fresh approach to singing-- has become a successful full-blown tour, bringing Kathy's music to lots of new fans in intimate venues across the country.  Throughout her career she's been known for surrounding herself with the finest complementary musicians, inviting them to help create the live performances that have won thousands of fans and kept them coming back again and again.


The Acoustic Living Room Tour, featuring Bill Cooley, her brilliant long-time guitarist and musical collaborator, presents the essence of Kathy Mattea-- great songs and great stories that connect with her audience-- in a simple, relaxed presentation that spotlights the duo's acoustic guitar chops undergirding Kathy's lithe, expressive vocal style.


And who knows what old chestnut from her deep catalog they'll attempt to remember tonight?????  See and hear for yourself when The Acoustic Living Room Tour rolls in to a town near you!!!


BREAKING (NOT FAKING) NEWS!!! (Nashville TN)-- According to possibly highly placed and somewhat thoroughly vetted sources, the ongoing Acoustic Living Room Tour has been rumored to have provided substantial material for a new recording project, which may or may not have resulted in actual recording in an actual recording studio with an actual producer and engineer, and which may or may not actually be completed and released in the near or not-so-near future!  If determined to be true, these developments may prove to be excellent or even very excellent news for Kathy Mattea fans and for music lovers in general.

Stuff's happening, people- I'm just sayin'...............


Check out these upcoming Acoustic Living Room shows:


February 10 - Natick MA - Center for the Arts

February 11 - Storrs CT - Jorgensen Center

February 12 - Port Washington NY - Landmark on Main Street







As Nashville’s Voice of Reason, Kathy Mattea Practices What She Teaches


Michael Bialas

Entertainment and sports journalist


On the road again after taking an extended break in 2015, singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea recently decided to grant a request from the audience to perform one of the tunes she wrote for a record released in 1986.


Such occurrences aren’t unusual for touring musicians, especially when you’re a Grammy Award winner with a full, fluid voice who’s recorded 18 albums during an illustrious career in Nashville.


Yet something happened to Mattea that night, a feeling she had never experienced before, as she sang “Leaving West Virginia.”


“I just burst into tears in the middle of my own show,” Mattea revealed during a phone interview earlier this month en route to New York for a show at Joe’s Pub the next night.... READ FULL ARTICLE



Kathy Mattea to Host Nationally Broadcast ‘Christmas at Belmont’


kathy mattea


Special performance to honor Belmont’s 125th anniversary


NASHVILLE, September 8, 2015 –  Hosted by Grammy Award-winning country recording artist Kathy Mattea and taped at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, nearly 700 student musicians will join Belmont School of Music faculty and the Nashville Children’s Choir later this fall for the taping of  a special 125th anniversary edition of “Christmas at Belmont.” The annual production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites, produced by Nashville Public Television (NPT),  will offer its world premiere on NPT in late December followed by a PBS broadcast for a national audience. This is the 13thconsecutive year “Christmas at Belmont” has been seen on PBS, and this year’s performance will also honor the University’s 125th anniversary, a year-long celebration of its 1890 founding.


This year’s edition of “Christmas at Belmont” features the University Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theatre, Jazz Ensemble and Bluegrass Ensemble, as well as mass choir. The performance includes both classic holiday music such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Little Drummer Boy,” as well as festive seasonal songs like “Carol of the Bells” and “White Christmas,” to name a few.


Mattea said, “I’m thrilled to be hosting ‘Christmas at Belmont’ from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center this year. It’s a great honor to be asked to join the ranks of the wonderful artists who have taken part in this respected tradition over the years, and I’m pleased to be able to represent Belmont University, which has been a big part of my life since I came to Nashville.”


Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980s and ‘90s as an artist at ease both with country tradition and free-ranging innovation. Drawing from the Grammy-winning collection Good News and the critically acclaimed follow up, Joy for Christmas Day, her Christmas presentations highlight the joyous message of the holiday with a thoughtful blend of new songs and old favorites, stretching stylistic boundaries to engage with a variety of her favorite musical influences.


“‘Christmas at Belmont’ is an amazing opportunity to showcase the tremendous talent of our faculty and students,” said Belmont University President Bob Fisher. “We’re incredibly grateful for our partnership with NPT that brings that talent to a broader audience, and we’re delighted to have an artist of Kathy Mattea’s caliber at the helm this year.”


The performance and taping of “Christmas at Belmont” returns for the fifth time to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, one of the few venues in the world featuring natural lighting and state-of-the-art acoustics, including motorized acoustic drapes and an acoustical isolation joint that encircles the entire concert hall and prevents sound waves traveling into or out of the hall.


“NPT is excited to once again partner with Belmont University to bring one of Nashville’s great holiday traditions to the entire nation on PBS,” said Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT, which has won 46 Midsouth Emmy Awards since 2001. “I am always amazed at the depth and range of talent Belmont’s School of Music is nurturing—truly making a mark on Nashville’s music and performance scenes. With 2015’s all-new production of ‘Christmas at Belmont,’ we continue a vital part of NPT’s mission, which is to share these unique talents with a national audience.”


Dr. Cynthia R. Curtis, dean of Belmont’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, added, “We are delighted that through the efforts of NPT and our generous sponsors, we can share the talents of Belmont students with a national audience. Having two-time Grammy Award winner Kathy Mattea as host adds to our excitement about Christmas at Belmont 2015! Kathy brings not only her outstanding skills as performer and songwriter, but also serves as an exceptional role model for our students who seek careers as preforming artists.”


“Christmas at Belmont” is underwritten by The Beaman Family Foundation and The Jack C. Massey Foundation. Due to the large demand for tickets among performers’ families and friends, there are no public seats available for this event, but viewers will be able to see the concert on PBS in December. Dates and times for the broadcast will be announced later this fall.


About Nashville Public Television

Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve. Join the conversation at and on Twitter @npt8.


About Belmont University

Ranked No. 5 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the seventh consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University is celebrating its 125th anniversary in academic year 2015-16. Founded in 1890, the University consists of more than 7,400 students who come from every state and more than 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs. With more than 80 areas of undergraduate study, 22 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information, visit




An Exclusive Interview with Kathy Mattea

From the KM HQ News Desk


Q: So, Kathy, what's your summer been like?

A: Oh, not much going on....working on new material every week, teaching at Swannanoa Gathering, taping voice-over narrations for Public Television, catching some Broadway shows, vocal lessons in know, just kind of goofing off...

Q: Well, I'll bet you'll be glad to get back to work soon, after all that goofing off!

A:  Absolutely!  I'm very excited to be playing Carnegie Hall (you know, the one in New York!  No offense, Lewisburg...) this fall as part of a tribute concert for fellow West Virginia Music Hall of Fame member, Bill Withers, speaking to music and art students at University of Nebraska-Omaha, trying out new music with our "Acoustic Living Room" concerts this fall, and gearing up for another great Christmas tour in December.

Enough of this Rest & Relaxation- its time to Rock & Roll (& Folk & Country & Bluegrass)!!!

Come to think of it, I'll be ready for a little down time in January: that Country Music Cruise is starting to look pretty good about now!  Hope to see you there!!


Check out Kathy's full tour schedule here.



kathy mattea


"Acoustic Living Room" featuring Bill Cooley

Photo Credit: Rene Scheiderer


There's just two of them...... anything could happen!!!!


Kathy debuts her "Acoustic Living Room" show, featuring long-time guitarist/arranger Bill Cooley, in 3 intimate Northeast venues.  The acoustic duo format, which Kathy and Bill have occasionally and typically used only for private gatherings, benefits, and such, offers long-time fans and new-made friends a different angle on Kathy's musical roots and branches.


Take the Acoustic Living Room Quiz:

When Kathy and Bill perform as a duo, they may


A. try out new songs and stories that could end up on the next album,

B. pull out obscure songs from old albums that neither one can quite remember,

C. play some off-the-wall cover version of a 70's rock standard, or

D. all of the above.


(HINT: its D of course!!!!!  Everybody wins!!!!)










calling me home - kathy matteaDaring folk-trad follow-up to Mattea’s Coal features contributions from Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton, Tim and Mollie O’Brien and more . . .



Nashville, TN – June 27th, 2012 - Most artists take fewer and fewer risks as they get older, but Kathy Mattea is a striking exception. She didn’t play it safe while she charted mainstream country hits—16 of them reaching the top ten—and she’s not about to start now.


Four years ago, Mattea, one of the most sure-footed country-pop song interpreters of her generation, caught everyone off guard with an album of old-timey Appalachian mining songs called Coal. She’s delved even deeper into her Appalachian heritage with Calling Me Home, available from Sugar Hill on September 11th, 2012, co-produced with modern acoustic mastermind Gary Paczosa and featuring liner notes from bestselling author, and Kentucky-born kindred spirit, Barbara Kingsolver.


Mattea’s new direction couldn’t have taken her further from her old way of doing things. Where once she was pitched songs by Music Row writers, now she collects the generations-old and new but old-in-soul tunes that move her at folk gatherings, and rounds out her repertoire through extensive research. Two songs here came from a CD that Alice Gerrard, of the influential ‘70s folk duo Hazel & Alice, personally pressed into her hand at one such festival.


Once Mattea found her songs, there was still the matter of wrapping her voice around them. A mountain modal folk ballad may sound like the simplest thing on earth, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to sing. Says Kathy, “My big fear when I made Coal was I didn’t grow up singing this stuff from when I was young. I’ve had a commercial music career for decades now. Am I gonna sound like a lounge singer trying to sing Appalachian songs?”

Thankfully, that fear didn’t stop her from taking the leap, and both Coal and Calling Me Home offer decisive proof that she’s no dilettante. She’s always had a profound respect for traditional folk music—her ancestors played it, and in college she even took clawhammer banjo lessons and formed a bluegrass band—but she only recently came to accept that the music is in her blood. “I had to sing ‘Black Lung’ with Hazel Dickens in the fourth row,” she says, referring to the classic song and the revered Appalachian woman who wrote and sang it, about the tragic death of her brother. “Now that will grow you up. Either you own your performance of the song, or you don’t.”


Even during her radio-ruling days in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Kathy was proud of representing the people and place she hailed from on the global stage, but it was only after she’d been away from Cross Lanes, West Virginia for some three decades that she felt called to fully immerse herself in musical appreciation of her roots. That she sings from the perspective of an Appalachian whose career took her elsewhere is part of what makes Calling Me Home feel as contemporary as it does traditional. The top-notch cast of players doesn’t hurt either. The contributions of the multi-talented Stuart Duncan and Bryan Sutton, along with bassist Byron House, percussionist Jim Brock, harmonizing siblings and fellow native West Virginians Tim and Mollie O’Brien and Mattea’s longtime guitarist Bill Cooley, make for a crisp, vivid new-timey string band palette.


There just isn’t a template for a career like Kathy Mattea’s. Her mainstream accomplishments have already earned her a place in the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, and, never one to tread water creatively, she’s made her gracefully daring leap into the roots-honoring trad folk world. “To be a complete novice at something after you’ve been singing for three or four decades, to feel that humility of ‘I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to pull this off again,’ it’s a great gift,” she shares. “A lot of times people go through their whole lives and never get to that place.”


And it’s a very good place for Mattea to be. “I feel like I just made the album of my life; I articulated something I was put here to say. It’s my childhood and life experience of a sense of place and culture and history and family, and of all the music that I’ve learned and all I’ve learned performing all rolled into one thing.


For more music videos, check out "Hello, My Name is Coal" and "Calling Me Home".



Americana Gazette Feb/March 2013


Kathy Mattea – The Call of Home


Kathy Mattea is sitting quietly at her kitchen table in Nashville, reflecting on the recent change in her career. She remembers the precise and painful moment when she knew she would take this unexpected dive, this shift in focus from commercial country music to the sweet and sorrowful sounds of Appalachia. Actually, some of us would argue, the change may not be quite as dramatic as it first appears to be on the surface. But with her last two albums, the Grammy-nominated “Coal,” released in 2008, and the even more personal “Calling Me Home,” released last year, Mattea’s music is now fully tied to the “reluctant activism” that has tugged at her heart for nearly twenty years...





Kathy Mattea gets back to her folkie roots

Chicago Tribune

By Chrissie Dickinson, Special to the Tribune

Kathy Mattea's evolution from country hit-maker to respected trad-folkie isn't a reinvention. It's a return home.


Mattea, 53, first made her name in mainstream country in the late 1980s and early '90s with a string of hits, including "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen

Roses" and "Where've You Been." In 2008 the singer pulled a 180-degree turn with the release of "Coal."


The spare and haunting collection of acoustic

songs that harked back to her Appalachian roots snagged Mattea a Grammy nomination in the traditional folk category.


Mattea follows up that triumph with the recently released "Calling Me Home" (Sugar Hill), a rich acoustic collection built on mandolin, fiddle, banjo,

Dobro, zither, percussion and guitar. Mattea performs Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music.


Like its predecessor, the aptly titled "Calling Me Home" continues her exploration of the mountain country from which she came. It's a personal

journey that began four years ago with "Coal."


"In a lot of ways, 'Coal' was a career record for me," she says. "It woke something up for me. People that you wouldn't even think would be concerned with the story of coal really connected with it, both musically and to the human side of the story. It also connected me with my own family story. It knitted together a bigger picture and changed the way I see my own life." Mattea assembled a rootsy all-star cast for the making of "Calling Me Home."


Gary Paczosa, who has worked with Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton, is on board as co-producer. The musicians include the sterling bluegrass

multi-instrumentalist Stuart Duncan. Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Krauss and Tim and Mollie O'Brien contribute background vocals.


"Calling Me Home" includes liner notes courtesy of best-selling novelist and Kentucky native Barbara Kingsolver. Mattea first met the author this year at

an event to discuss mountain top removal.


"It's a very extreme form of strip mining all over Appalachia," Mattea says. "Barbara and I were doing what we could to let people know what the results

of this mining are, which are really tough for the people who live there and for the environment."


Mattea was just putting the finishing touches on "Calling Me Home" and had an inspiration.


"It just seemed like a no-brainer to ask her to write the liner notes," says Mattea. "I really felt the kindred thing with her because of a lot of what she writes about Appalachia echoes my own experience and my own feelings."


Mattea grew up in Cross Lanes, W. Va. "Ten minutes up the river was downtown Charleston," she says. "Ten minutes down the river was the little coal town

my mom grew up in. So I grew up in both worlds."


On both "Coal" and "Calling Me Home," Mattea covers songs by two Appalachian music legends: Hazel Dickens, who passed away last year at 75, and Jean

Ritchie, now 89. Mattea got to know both women.


"They're both fierce in their own way," says Mattea. "I love that about both of them. That's part of what's so beautiful about that culture - what you see is what you get."


Meeting Dickens and Ritchie inspired Mattea to double down on forging her own singular path. "Hazel and Jean never deviated from who they were," she says. "They didn't second-guess anything. There's just a real purity to both of them. I walked away with inspiration that I wanted to be as pure in my Kathy-ness as Hazel was in her Hazel-ness and Jean is in being Jean Ritchie. I want to know myself and my own direction and my own depth as an artist and a person in the same way."


On "Coal," Mattea covered the dark classic "Black Lung," a stark lament Dickens wrote about the coal miner's lung disease that killed her brother.


After the release of "Coal," Mattea found herself on stage singing "Black Lung" with Dickens in attendance. No pressure there.


"Oh lord, that was a moment that'll grow you up, having to sing 'Black Lung' with Hazel Dickens in the first row," Mattea says. "That was the moment when

I thought, 'Well Kathy, you either own your performance with this song or you don't, and now is when you find out.' Hazel came up and said, 'You know, I really enjoyed that. I'm always singing that song, I never get to just sit and listen to the story.'"


Several songs on the new release return Mattea to the complicated subject of coal as both an environmental issue and a livelihood for miners. The

Celtic-tinged "West Virginia Mine Disaster" is a tragic story-song written by Ritchie. Mattea wraps her rich alto around the conflicted lyrics of "Hello, My Name is Coal." "Some say I'm a savior / Some say death is what I bring / I've broke miners' backs and hearts / and I've wrestled for their souls."


"As far as the emotional impact for me, there's a lot of beauty in these songs and a lot of heart," she says. "I was looking for songs that made me feel a certain fullness. I was looking for a different kind of beauty. Even songs about loss can be that.


Sometimes there has to be a death before there

can be a resurrection."





Concert Review – Kathy Mattea at Silver Center For The Arts in Plymouth, NH

My Kind Of Country

by Jonathan Pappalardo on March 21, 2013


Kathy Mattea came ready to give it her all. Amidst a blinding snowstorm, and the after effects of the head cold that had eluded her to three days prior, she took the stage Feb 23 in the teeny 665 seat Hanaway Theatre (located in isolated Plymouth, NH) with just three other musicians, a caravan of guitars, and a message.


Of late Mattea has been outspoken on the subject of coal, or “Black Gold” as she sings in a recent song. Her crusade opened a so-far two-album floodgate, a life-changing detour into the Appalachian Folk songs of her West Virginian heritage and the most fully realized music of her thirty-year recording career. Her otherworldly alto graces the lyrics of Jean Ritchie, Laurie Lewis, Hazel Dickens, and Alice Garrard with the plainspoken beauty of a woman directly in line with her authentic center.


But even more impressive is Mattea’s ability to blend the “new” with the old, creating a woven tapestry linked by environmental cause, a deep sense of history, and a sharp ear. She opened with the first track on Calling Me Home (“A Far Cry”) before launching into “Lonesome Standard Time,” her #11 peaking single from 1992, without skipping a beat. She then graced the audience with my favorite of her singles, “Standing Knee Deep In A River (Dying of Thrust),” which was recently reinstated back into her set.


The intermingling of her past hits and newer material took me by surprise. I expected Mattea to focus mainly on the subject of coal, with a dusting of her biggest hits, thus leaving non-signature tunes as distant memories. But instead Mattea covered the hallowed ground between her past and present with the seamless ease of a songstress in tune with every note, paying close attention to every lyric.


Dressed in a mint green blouse, black jacket, and casual leggings, Mattea had the confidence of a seasoned professional but the cool of an everywoman; she was one among equals not a star singing to a crowd. Her greatest virtue was her subtlety, showcased through her candor and humor, on par with that of a next-door neighbor, a friend.


She greeted us like we’ve known her all our lives, commending us “Plymouthians” on our toughness in weather, braving a major snowstorm like a bright sunny day. Later she encouraged communal participation, denouncing those who belittled us for an inability to carry a tune, before having us sing loud and proud on multiple choruses of both “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Come From The Heart.” The latter bonded us as a tight-knit family – she enthusiastically attempted to get us clapping on the offbeat, which wasn’t meant to be. Clapping on all beats didn’t work either so plan B had us singing “You gotta sing like you don’t need the money, love like you’ll never get hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, it’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work” at the tops of our lungs.


Further audience participation caused an off-script deviation into “Mary, Did You Know” and a proclamation that it wasn’t included with the $35 ticket price. She rolled with the flow, only grappling with the tune to see if she could reach the high note without her head popping off (she did have a head cold, after all). The song soared, and proved that sick or healthy professionalism wins out every time.


My favorite moment of the night confirmed another of Mattea’s many facets -her shrewd intellect. Her successful blending of old and new cumulated in a shared linkage – most of Mattea’s songs are deeply rooted in various fossil flues, albeit generally indirectly. I’d never viewed her material from such a focal point before, and she gracefully clarified her hypothesis, explaining how she’s singing about the diesel fuel of trains (“Lonesome Standard Time”) and the long hall truckers (“Eighteen Wheels”) to the coal. This led to a fabulous rendition of “455 Rocket” (fossil fuel: gasoline), her 1997 single and final top 20 chart hit. (In another showcase of her clever humor, I loved how she modified the line, “as we skid I thought I heard angles sing (sounded like the Beach Boys)” into a sly commentary on Beyoncé’s recent lip-synching scandal).


Mattea went on to grace us with more stories – how she first played the banjo in college only to pick it up again more recently, and the time she performed in newly restored theatre in Ohio, only to find out the majority of the audience didn’t know whom she was. She was candid on the subject of marriage, mentioning her and Jon’s recent (the prior week) 25-year milestone, gracing us with “Love Chooses You,” a Willow In The Wind album cut, and the song sung at their wedding.


Before “Love At The Five and Dime” she remarked on Nanci Griffith’s writing, likening the second verse to poetry, and shared that her classic “Where’ve You Been” almost wasn’t written, if co-writer Don Henry hadn’t been in the room. The latter came with a tale about a man with Alzheimer’s who’d forgotten his wife, until a visit in which she and their daughter were yelling at each other – and memories came flooding back.


Some of my favorite moments weren’t even the older hits (she also sang “Untold Stories,” another unexpected surprise) but the new material, even more simplistic on stage, than record. The quiet beauty of “Agate Hill” elicited tears, while her effective reading of “West Virginia Mine Disaster” showcased her storytelling prowess. “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore” was a nice uptempo change of pace, and “Coal Tattoo” really let the band rip.


My other great joy, and the benefits of my front row center seat, was witnessing the nuances of the band in action all evening. Sitting that close, I was able to take in all that was happening on stage and watch the four musicians bring each song to life with the fullness of a full ensemble. The front row seat brought an appreciation to the evening that even two or three rows back would’ve made near impossible.


Seeing Mattea live was one of those musical highlights of life where everything comes together perfectly for a truly outstanding evening. She’s an otherworldly talent who has only aged with sincere grace and humility since her Nashville hit making days. If you’ve never attending one of her shows, or if it’s been a while since your last evening with Mattea, it’s well worth it to catch her when she’s in your area. It’ll likely be one of the best musical nights of your life. That was certainty the case for me.



Concert Review


Bluegrass Today

A Tribute to Hazel Dickens - - September 26, 2012

By David Morris

"Among my favorite moments: Kathy Mattea’s hauntingly beautiful a cappella performance of Black Lung ... read full review




Country Universe

by Ben Foster

September 20, 2012

The album does everything that music in its finest and purest form is meant to do. The resulting product is not only the best country album of 2012, but a new peak for a woman who has already made some of the most compelling music of her generation. Without a doubt, Mattea’s Calling Me Home is a must-have ... Read full review



Kathy Mattea: Calling Me Home


By Brice Ezell 14 September 2012

The September 11th release of Calling Me Home, Kathy Mattea’s fourteenth studio LP, is fitting given the subject material. The plight of the coal miner has been around for a considerable amount of time in the history of the United States, but when “the world stopped turning on that September day”, the state of things for blue-collar workers changed significantly. 9/11 may not have changed everything, but as a moment in American history it’s undeniably pivotal ... read full review



Kathy Mattea Strips Away Old Habits on 'Calling Me Home'


"It was a little bit like being naked" Kathy Mattea's last album, 2008's "Coal," topped the Bluegrass Albums chart and earned her a Grammy nomination.

Kathy Mattea's last album, 2008's "Coal," topped the Bluegrass Albums chart and earned her a Grammy nomination. Her newest Sugar Hill release, "Calling Me Home," is very much in the same vein musically as its' predecessor, but the singer tells Billboard that she feels she took things a step further with the new collection ... read full review



West Virginia girl Mattea celebrates Appalachian roots

Charleston Gazette

Since her chart-topping run in the '80s when she was one of country music's most celebrated and awarded singers, Kathy Mattea has looked more and more inward, a road that always leads her back to West Virginia. She admittedly discovered the depth of ... read full review



Music Review: On 'Calling Me Home,' Kathy Mattea sings eloquently ...

Washington Post

Kathy Mattea, “Calling Me Home” (Sugar Hill) The album opens with a forlorn fiddle, feverish and fidgety until it finally settles on a D. With that, the tone is set.

Bluegrass rarely gets more bluesy than on “Calling Me Home.” This is mountain music, sorrowful and restless and struggling to make sense of its surroundings and the way they’ve changed ... read full review



Folk songstress Kathy Mattea returns with a new record and a nostalgic approach to her roots

Nashville Scene

Calling Her Home

by Jon Weisberger

"I'm from West 'by-God' Virginia," says the opening line of Larry Cordle and Jenee Fleenor's brilliant first-person narrative, "Hello, My Name Is Coal," and when Kathy Mattea sings it, as she does on Calling Me Home, her brand-new release on Sugar Hill Records, it's the simple truth. The song is one of several that revolve around coal and the people who work in it, but while the album represents an extension of Coal, the Grammy-nominated, Marty Stuart-produced project that preceded it, the title of this one's a tip-off that it deals with a broader range of subjects ... read full review

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