Interview with Country Music Star Kathy Mattea
Kathy Mattea is a well known name in country music and has graced the stage with many other major players in the music industry. Tony Bennett, George Strait, Luther Vandross and Dolly Parton just to name a few. Beginning her musical journey around the age of 13, between middle school and high school, Kathy attended a small Catholic church in a tiny town just outside of Charleston, West Virginia. At this time, the church was beginning to incorporate fellowship music into their services so that’s when Kathy jumped in and began the life that would eventually lead to her superstar status.
Earlier today, I had the chance to chat with Kathy on a more personal level and asked her a few questions I had on my mind. Being on the phone with a legend is rather humbling and very exciting at the same time. I was curious to find out what some of her favorite memories would be from her many years of performing. She replied with “Well there’s just so many” in her softly sweet voice. You could hear the bit of smile as she began to recant the stories back to me. Singing “Green Rolling Hills” with Emmylou Harris was on the top of her charts. A performer Kathy has admired for quite some time. Having played on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and The White House, Kathy says that some of her most favorite memories have come from small performances where she can have direct interaction with her audience. “With smaller shows you get more requests, requests for older music that you may not have played in a while. It might mean something different to you at that time, different than it did before. It is that connection with the audience, that moment when there are no walls and it becomes just you and them. I’ve been close to tears many times while on stage.” It is amazing to have that sort of interaction with your fans, to feel the music flowing through the room and everything else just fades away. Music speaks to others as nothing else does. It can truly touch your soul.
You would not believe some of the stories she would have to tell, over the many years of touring she has experienced quite a few strange yet fun times! Some of her favorites would have been the time she just played traditional Scottish music through the night while on tour in Scotland. Or the time she played at a huge festival in Morocco where the limo taking her to the show, drove inside the building on top of HUGE oriental rugs that covered the entire floor. Very elaborate with even more gorgeous tapestry upon entering the performance area! I think the most terrifying of all the stories would have been when Kathy said she was on a boat heading toward Antarctica. After taking the stage and beginning to sing, the boat encountered choppy water and Kathy was singing while the 25 ft. waves rocked everyone around on board. Holy smokes that would have scared me so much but Kathy said it did not really phase her. All I can say is wow!
Possibly given to her upbringing, Kathy continues to work closely with charities when given the chance. During the 80’s, Kathy began to speak out to raise awareness for AIDs. After having lost quite a few friends to the disease, she wanted to use her voice to bring attention to this cause in hopes of making a change. Over the years, she has worked on raising awareness on strip mining and has even worked closely alongside Al Gore for his inconvenient truth campaign. She certainly has her hands full but you can tell she enjoys giving back as much as she can or to use her voice to get the message a little further out there.
The Acoustic Living Room tour will be making its way to the Rialto Theater Center in Loveland, Co on March 15th. Kathy Mattea will be performing alongside of longtime collaborator and band mate Bill Cooley. This setting is exactly like what she said earlier when describing her favorite type of musical experience. The venue has an intimate setting, which will allow for that up close and personal feel for the show. Kathy loves to play at older theaters such as this one saying “There’s just something about a city that preserves their older buildings”, it is their history. Architecture is beautiful and the buildings hold so much history. I agree with her 100%.
I would highly encourage you to come show your support for this talented duo. After all, it is not every day you get to see a Grammy Award winning artist singing acoustic and taking requests. This really can be a once in a lifetime experience. If you have not had the chance to grab your tickets, you can click here and be redirected to purchase yours now!
Hope to see you all there!
Photos by David McClister