REVIEW: Kathy Mattea at the Holly Theatre

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Friday May 27, 2011

from North Georgia News

Kathy Mattea show benefits North Georgia’s performing arts

(May 23, 2011) A packed house of more than 300 people at the Holly Theatre in Dahlonega were treated Saturday night to the music of Grammy award-winning country artist Kathy Mattea, who performed for the first North Georgia at the Holly event.

North Georgia at the Holly aims to bring diverse and high quality musical experiences to the region; promote music educational experiences; and strengthen the appreciation for performing arts in the region. Proceeds from the event benefit the Department of Performing Arts at North Georgia College & State University.

Mattea’s easy rapport with the audience had the crowd laughing, clapping and, of course, enjoying the music. Hailing from mountainous West Virginia, Mattea said she felt a kinship with the residents of the mountain town, joking about the band’s morning arrival in Dahlonega.

“First, my feet were three inches above my head and then my head was three inches above my feet and I said ‘Are we in West Virginia?’” Mattea said. “I didn’t know there were mountains in Georgia, but I’m glad that we’ve found them.”

After the nearly two-hour show, Mattea met and signed autographs for fans waiting outside the Holly. Mattea and members of the band also attended a party for event sponsors held after the concert.

Mattea is currently touring in support of her new, Grammy-nominated album, COAL. In addition to playing several tracks from that album during Saturday’s show, Mattea also performed classics such as “18 Wheels and A Dozen Roses,” and “Where’ve You Been.”

Mattea rocked the house with upbeat numbers like “18 Wheels,” but had everyone listening in near silence to some of the more poignant tracks from her new release.

Mattea says her new album offered her a “re-education” in singing. COAL is a re-education for the listener as well, a record that reshapes the way we think about music, reminding us of why we love it so much in the first place.

The songs on COAL are more than just mining songs. Mattea says she wanted to pay tribute to “my place and my people” on a record that is as much a textured novel as it is an album. Raised near Charleston, W.Va., her mining heritage is thick: both her parents grew up in coal camps, both her grandfathers were miners, her mother worked for the local UMWA. Her father was saved from the mines by an uncle who paid his way through college.

Read the article here