Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea and her longtime collaborator, guitarist Bill Cooley, have shared one of Nashville’s most musically rich partnerships. Today the duo meets as old friends, inviting audiences into their Acoustic Living Room to share songs and stories near and dear to their hearts, as well as Kathy’s beloved classics and a handful of more eclectic, frequently requested tunes. Twice named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association, Kathy Mattea carved out a role for herself in the late 80s and 90s as an artist at ease with both country tradition and free-ranging innovation. Her 1988 hit “18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses” was named the Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year. An early spokesperson and advocate for AIDS awareness and research, Kathy’s long history of activism has led her to bring public attention to several current environmental issues, including global warming and mining practices in her native Appalachia. That work and related music joined to produce her Grammy-nominated album “Coal,” featuring songs from the coal country and culture of her place and her people. On “Coal” and other recent recordings, Mattea skillfully combines country, Celtic, gospel and bluegrass influences with the folk and acoustic music that have always served as her artistic anchor.
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