Artist continues to evolve

Grammy winner Mattea plays music on her own terms

Grammy winner Mattea plays music on her own terms

December 15, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

FREDERICK, Md. - With more than 20 years of experience in the music industry, 14 albums, three Grammy Awards and her fair share of country hits, Kathy Mattea is right where she wants to be.

"I've found a place to keep growing myself as an artist," she told The Herald-Mail during a phone interview. "I think I have managed to let go of some of the more lucrative but soul-draining gigs. I feel right now like I get to play music pretty much on my own terms."

And she will be doing just that at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick.


When the West Virginia native started her career in the early '80s, she wanted to always be "viable," to continue pushing herself throughout her career, Mattea says. That goal has led her on a path of musical evolution, from her start as a folk and roots band member to a performer who melds world music notes.

"I get excited about different kinds of music," Mattea says. She has studied the links between country music and traditional Scottish folk music, incorporating such sounds into her band.

Over the course of Mattea's career, she has racked up plenty of titles to be proud of. Her Grammy wins include Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 1990, Best Country Song in 1991 and Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album in 1993.

Some of Mattea's most well-known singles include "Where've You Been," "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses," and "455 Rocket."

In recent years, Mattea discovered "that a chunk of me was growing in my live band." Through experimentation and trying some acoustic numbers, Mattea and her musicians were inspired to produce their most recent CD, "Right Out of Nowhere."

The CD, released in September, has Mattea's stamp all over it, as her first self-produced work. The work combines country, acoustic, gospel, blues and country-funk styles, and also puts a twist on two cover songs. An acoustic version of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" is particularly meaningful to Mattea as it was one of the trigger songs for the album. She also performs John Fogerty's "Down on the Corner."

Mattea's concert at the Weinberg will include selections of both her new and former work, but she will focus mainly on Christmas music from her two Christmas CDs.

If you go ...

WHAT: Kathy Mattea in concert, presents "Songs and the Season"

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

WHERE: Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick Street, Frederick, Md.

COST: Tickets cost $39 to $47

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 70 east toward Frederick. Take exit 54 for Market Street and turn right onto Md. 355 north. Follow about one mile. Turn left onto West Patrick Street, and the Weinberg Center is on the left.

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