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,” cowritten by her husband, Jon Vezner.
She 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.
Her exploration of Appalachian music and culture comes full circle with 2008’s Grammy-nominated Coal and her latest release, Calling Me Home.
Mattea remains one of Nashville’s most spiritual singers, and the songs she sings about love lost and humility are as fine as any she has recorded.
Her voice stands out as a rare blend of warmth and power.
Kathy Mattea has never stuck to conventions within any genre: a country-music hitmaker in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Mattea has also made forays into Scottish folk, gospel, and roots music.