Friday November 09, 2012
Grammy winner Kathy Mattea returns to her roots in music, activism, advocacy
Often, the old ways are the best ways. Call and response is a hymn-singing tradition in the mountains of Appalachia, so it is fitting that the mountains have called singer/songwriter Kathy Mattea, and the West Virginia native has responded.
Mattea will bring her unique mixture of the old ways and new perspectives to East Tennessee on Nov. 11 for her 7 p.m. “Calling Me Home” concert at East Tennessee State University’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium and, the next day, in a keynote speech to the 26th Annual Arts Education Conference at Johnson City’s Millennium Centre.
The two-time Grammy winner and Country Music Association female vocalist of the year has sojourned back to what she calls her “place and people” for her last two, of 18, albums — “Coal” in 2008 and this fall’s “Calling Me Home.” While Mattea caught many people off guard with “Coal,” an album of old-timey Appalachian mining songs, she’s delved even deeper into her Appalachian heritage with “Calling Me Home.” This new direction and process of learning traditional bluegrass styles and songs by legends such as Hazel Dickens — and “wrapping her voice around them,” as she calls it — has resulted in enthusiastic reviews and a new coast-to-coast U.S. tour.
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