Kathy Mattea Brings Country Music To Jorgensen 3/20, 3/21

On Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, at 8 pm, Kathy Mattea brings the sound of country music to UConn's Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Stereo Review says this talented Grammy-winner has "subtly and gently revolutionized country music by infusing her songs with grace and intelligence" in such classics as "18 Wheels and A Dozen Roses," "Where've You Been?" and "Goin' Gone." With her rich, dusky mezzo-soprano voice, she sings of mature love, personal growth and world harmony, rather than the more traditional country themes.

A consummate songcatcher, Kathy Mattea has worked her magic again with her newest album, COAL, inspired by the Sago Mine Disaster. The record is as much a textured novel as an album, and the songs included are more than just mining songs. Mattea says they pay tribute to "my place and my people" of the Appalachian mountains. "Somewhere in me, in my DNA, there's my great-grandmother singing, and my grandmother, and my people, singing through me, with me."

Raised near Charleston, West Virginia, her interest in Appalachia and mountain music was strong. She has a long mining heritage: both parents grew up in coal camps; her grandfathers were miners; her mother worked for the local UMW. But it was Merle Travis' song "Dark as a Dungeon" that inspired her at 19 to take the chance and sing mountain music.

She began recording in the 1980s and since has twice been chosen Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. She has had numerous singles, albums and videos honored by the CMA, the ACM and the Grammys. In 2001 she earned the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award for her work on behalf of AIDS research.

Enjoy Kathy Mattea in Jorgensen's Cabaret setting (hearty soup, salad and dessert: $3 to $10; cash bar). Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $34, $38 and $45. For ticket information, contact the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm, at 860.486.4226, or order online at jorgensen.uconn.edu. Jorgensen is located at 2132 Hillside Road, University of Connecticut, Storrs. Free, convenient parking is available across the street in the North Garage.

 

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