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Kathy Mattea Gets Back to Her Folkie Roots

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Thursday September 20, 2012

From The Chicago Tribune

Kathy Mattea Gets Back to Her Folkie Roots
By: Chrissie Dickinson

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.”

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