Digging deeper into Kathy Mattea’s “Calling Me Home”

One of my great joys in getting under the skin of Kathy Mattea’s Calling Me Home was my journey lurking behind the songs she chose to sang. I wanted to fully understand what she was singing, and more importantly, learn about the songwriters she was covering.

Here are some videos of Kathy talking about the music on Calling Me Home:

The EPK:

Kathy’s connectedness with the songs on this album:

“Wood Thursher’s Song:”

“The Maple’s Lament:”

“Calling Me Home:”

“West Virginia, My Home:”

“Black Waters:”

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I also went searching for the original songwriters and singers who brought these songs to life. It was an eye opening experience finding my own connectedness with this material by hearing it on the purest possible level.

Jean Ritchie singing “Black Waters:”

Apart from hearing Jean Ritchie sing, “West Virginia Mine Disaster,” here is she talking about the inspiration behind why she wrote it:

Here’s Jean singing the other song she wrote – “Now Is The Cool Of The Day:”

Hearing Ritchie give her take on these songs allows for an appreciation for what she brings to the table. Her Alison Krauss-like voice has angelic qualities, while Kathy’s is more husky. The two approaches are so completely different, each beautiful in their own unique way.

Also, listen to folk/bluegrass group The Gordons and their take on Si Kan’s “Gone, Gonna Rise Again:”

Now go and dig into the CD. You’ll be more than glad you did.

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