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Kathy Mattea Mines Her Appalachian History

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Sunday January 22, 2012

From The Boston Globe

Kathy Mattea Continues To Mine Her Appalachian History
By: James Reed

In 2008, Kathy Mattea quietly released an album she figured would be a side project, yet another stylistic departure in an eclectic country-music career full of them. She was wrong. “Coal’’ ended up setting Mattea on an intense personal journey to discover her Appalachian roots, a soul-searching process that has continued to this day.

“That album changed my life. It was a revelation, such an unexpected gift,’’ Mattea, who performs at Sanders Theatre tomorrow night, says recently from her home in Tennessee. “The chance to step through a door into a new point of view on singing, music, your own people, and the music of your people – that is such a rare opportunity when you’ve been singing as long as I have.’’

Produced by Marty Stuart, “Coal’’ was deceptively bare-bones: an acoustic song cycle about the history and importance of coal mining and its devastating effects on the communities that have depended on it.

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