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Kathy Mattea's Rich Vocals Will Take You Home

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Tuesday October 02, 2012

From The Encore Sun Journal

Kathy Mattea’s rich alto vocals will take you ‘home’
By: Emily Tuttle

Sometimes I wish I lived in the mountains — up high, above and away from the lowness and busy-ness of taking care of business.

Sometimes I wish time would rewind to the days before instant communication, to an era when a silent handshake or momentary eye contact said all that needed to be said, and said no more than needed.

Listening to Kathy Mattea’s new album, “Calling Me Home,” takes me to that place and time.

For 12 tracks that draw on the strength and endurance of the Appalachian mountains and people, I can drift off into another world that doesn’t seem easier, but at least makes more sense.

Some might consider this latest release a sequel to Mattea’s “Coal” that came out several years ago. But the songs on “Calling Me Home” are not as much a political statement as the earlier album.

Instead, you can hear in Mattea’s rich alto vocals an authentic attachment to her roots. Born in West Virginia, Mattea shares a mountain music that intertwines Celtic fiddle and African-American banjo roots.

Joining her in her harmony on several tracks are a few other artists who share a devotion to American roots and folk music — Alison Krauss on “Agate Hill,” Mollie O’Brien on “West Virginia, My Home,” Emmylou Harris and Patty Loveless on “Black Waters.”

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