A hit-making country music star throughout the 90’s and winner of multiple CMA, ACM and Grammy Awards, Kathy Mattea remains one of Music Row’s most revered singers. Beloved for classics like “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Love at the Five and Dime,” Mattea is known for diverting from Nashville’s mainstream, incorporating folk, Celtic and Appalachian music into the genre, and relying on the strength of a voice that the Hartford Courant called “a rare blend of warmth and power.” She is touring with her new album Pretty Bird.
Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea established herself in the late 1980s and 1990s as an artist at ease with both country tradition and free-ranging innovation, and with her keen sense of songs and songwriting, as a masterful “songcatcher”. In 1990, the West Virginia native won the first of her two Grammy Awards, earning the Best Female Country Vocal Performance award for her moving “Where’ve You Been,” co-written by husband Jon Vezner.
Her recording, Calling Me Home, is a collection of songs that celebrate the Appalachian culture of her native West Virginia, and the Grammy-nominated album COAL (released in 2008) was her first step to rediscovering this vast and rich genre of music, taking her back to the lore of family stories. Mattea remains a rare breed of artist, equally at home spinning out honky-tonk-inflected country pop and rootsy, message-driven folk songs.
Mattea’s newest recording, Pretty Bird, came out in September and the evening’s concert will share many songs from this new recording, from a playful take on Oliver Wood’s “Chocolate on my Tongue” to a tender rendition of Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now.”