The Ever-Compassionate Kathy Mattea

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Friday January 18, 2013

From The Toledo Blade

Country singer Kathy Mattea to perform Friday in Monroe
By: Brian Dugger

Kathy Mattea has always been a bit of a softie. She has a couple of dogs she rescued from the streets of Nashville, and as she talked by phone last week, one of them, Sam, was curled up on the couch next to her.

“He’s 8, and he has cancer. He’s rallied like a puppy lately, but he’s been struggling a little this morning,” Mattea said.

Mattea’s compassion and social activism has always made her a beloved figure throughout her country music career, which marks a milestone this year. It’s been 30 years since she released her first single, “Street Talk.” It took her several more singles to break through with “Love at the Five and Dime” in 1986, but she’s enjoyed a recording career that has produced 15 studio albums and 41 singles, including the trucking anthem “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses.”

“I feel grateful to still be doing this. I haven’t gone to sleep, and I’m not slogging through it for the money. I didn’t want to be doing ‘Eighteen Wheels’ for a paycheck in my 50s,” Mattea said. “I feel like there is a wisdom that comes with doing this for so long. I’m better able to connect with the heart of a song.”

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