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Exclusive Q and A: Kathy Mattea Talks About ‘Calling Me Home’

Kathy Mattea has done it again.

When the two-time GRAMMY Award winner released Coal in 2008, many critics thought it’s powerful messages about Appalachia would be impossible to replicate. That’s understandable when you consider the Charleston, W. Va. native wrote the 11 songs on Coal as a way to spotlight the Montcoal, W. Va. mining disaster that killed 29 people. But what Mattea did on the album even beat that lofty goal; she turned the songs into a story of those that lived in the area for decades, continually triumphing over oppression.

Although Mattea has had more than 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart including “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” and ”Goin’ Gone,” she has no qualms about turning back to her folk, bluegrass roots for her latest album though it moves her away from the country music spotlight. Mattea recently took time to talk about her new album, her time in mainstream country, and how a sense of place plays into her music. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Kathy Mattea Talks About ‘Calling Me Home’’

50 States In 50 Weeks…Week 48: West Virginia

Fun Facts: State Animal; Black Bear, State Songs; “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home,” “The West Virginia Hills” and “This Is My West Virginia,” State Flower; Rhododendron

Home of: Brad Paisley, Bill Withers, Don Knotts

The Venues:

The Empty Glass in Charleston hosts local talent and up-and-coming touring bands of a variety of musical genres. Not far from Charleston in Nitro, WV is The Brickhouse where folks are doing their best to keep the all ages music scene alive by booking nationally-touring indie acts like Rookie of the Year and Four Letter Lie.

The V Club is a newcomer on the West Virginia music scene, opening its doors in Huntington in 2006. Since then, acts like The Avett Brothers, Tantric, Josh Ritter, the Hackensaw Boys and Junior Brown have graced their stage.

The Music:

Chelsea McBee – Though she’s only been playing her claw-hammer banjo since 2005, Chelsea McBee is fast making her mark in the folk/Americana scene. Her song “Mountain Girl” earned her a Top 10 finish in the OurStage Americana/Alt. Country Channel.  Born and raised in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Chelsea is taking her old-timey sound on the road this summer: She’ll be playing Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and New York City.

Zeroking – Huntington’s Zeroking aims to make music that appeals to both hard rock and metal fans without compromising their own vision. Sounds like a difficult task, right? These guys are up to it, having opened for Staind, Soil, Nonpoint, Three Days Grace & more.

Check out these and other great West Virginia artists in the playlist below! Who are your favorite OurStage West Virginians? Where do you like to see music in West Virginia? Let us know in the comments!


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