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Innovative country-folk artist Kathy Mattea to perform Sept. 19

Aug 21, 2012

OBERLIN, OH—Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 1980’s and ’90s as a sensitive yet energetic artist at ease with country tradition and free-ranging innovation. A two-time Grammy winner and Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, Mattea is among the most successful women in the genre’s history, yet her creative spirit has led her to explore musical territory extending well beyond its confines. Her recent recordings have intertwined Celtic, gospel, and bluegrass influences with the folk and acoustic music that have always served as her artistic anchor.

Mattea will perform with her three-piece band on Wednesday, September 19, at 8 p.m. in Oberlin’s Finney Chapel. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $6 for senior citizens and students, faculty, and staff with an Oberlin College ID.

Mattea’s latest album, Calling Me Home, available September 11, delves deeper into her Appalachian heritage. Even during her mainstream radio-ruling days in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Mattea was proud of representing the people and place she hailed from on the global stage, but it was only after she’d been away from Cross Lanes, West Virginia for some three decades that she felt called to fully immerse herself in musical appreciation of her roots. That she sings from the perspective of an Appalachian whose career took her elsewhere is part of what makes Calling Me Home feel as contemporary as it does traditional.

The contributions of the multi-talented Stuart Duncan and Bryan Sutton, along with bassist Byron House, percussionist Jim Brock, harmonizing siblings and fellow native West Virginians Tim and Mollie O’Brien, and Mattea’s longtime guitarist Bill Cooley make for a crisp, vivid new-timey string band palette.

Her mainstream accomplishments have already earned her a place in the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, and, never one to tread water creatively, she’s gracefully made her leap into the roots-honoring traditional folk world. “To be a complete novice at something after you’ve been singing for three or four decades, to feel that humility of ‘I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to pull this off again,’ it’s a great gift,” Mattea says. “A lot of times people go through their whole lives and never get to that place.”

For more information and music videos, visit Kathy Mattea’s official site. Tickets for the performance can be purchased online or by calling Central Ticket Services at (440) 775-8169 or (800) 371-0178.


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