Monday October 15, 2012
Kathy Mattea at the Birchmere
By: Nancy Dunham
“We are quickly losing our ability to have a nuanced conversation about anything we disagree about,” country turned Americana-folk artist Kathy Mattea said as she spoke of the Appalachian-born music that she now performs. It’d be too easy to credit election fatigue for the enthusiasm with which the Washington, D.C.-area audience cheered that statement. Mattea’s songs of romance, hard work and parental pride are arguably a bellwether for many in this rocky economic and social climate.
As Mattea and her band took the stage, it was clear the multiple Grammy Award winning artist was ready to guide the audience on a sonic trip to her West Virginia roots. Opening with the title track of her September release “Calling Me Home,” Mattea and her band then slipped into “Lonesome Standard Time” from her 1994 album of the same name. Although Mattea was in the midst of her mainstream country music career when the later album was released, the song’s lyrics prove that even then she wasn’t far away from her Appalachia roots.
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