Kathy Mattea: "Calling Me Home" Album Review

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Wednesday October 17, 2012

From Country Standard Time

Kathy Mattea: Calling me Home
By Donald Teplyske

As a commercially successful country artist during the ’80s and ’90s, Kathy Mattea hit the top 20 with no fewer than 21 singles, and although she last reached the top 10 almost 2 decades ago with Walking Away a Winner, she has continually produced high quality music that has become more engaging with each release.

“Calling Me Home” picks up fairly close to where 2008’s outstanding “Coal” left off. The Cross Lanes, West Va. native continues to mine the experiences that have – for better or worse and for generations – shaped her home area. The musical approach is largely acoustic with electric guitar appearing selectively. While some have identified “Calling Me Home” as bluegrass, that identification is by almost any definition inaccurate. Rather, Mattea’s first Sugar Hill release is most obviously folk-infused Appalachian country music, punctuated as it is by mournful fiddle, stellar acoustic guitar playing, atmospheric banjo and mandolin and some of the finest harmony singing heard in the past year.

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