12 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Calling Me Home is more than Kathy Mattea’s tribute to her native state of West Virginia. By turns tender, angry, and mournful, this powerful song collection takes an unflinching look at life in America’s coal country. Mattea’s rich alto has rarely sounded better—she brings deep emotional resonance and commitment to every track. Drawing on such revered folk songwriters as Alice Gerrard, Hazel Dickens, and Jean Ritchie for material, she balances tunes that highlight the Appalachian people with those capturing the beauty and mystery of the landscape. She gives “West Virginia Mine Disaster” the stern grace of a classic mountain ballad and adds bluegrass fire to the moodily upbeat “Hello, My Name Is Coal.” Vivid nature-themed pieces like “The Wood Thrush Song” and “The Maple’s Lament” are infused with a rustic mysticism. Especially striking are Mattea’s riveting a cappella readings of “Now Is the Cool of the Day” and the title tune. Featuring vocal contributions by the likes of Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, and Emmylou Harris, Calling Me Home is a work of exceptional conviction and feeling; it's one of the best folk albums of 2012.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Calling Me Home is more than Kathy Mattea’s tribute to her native state of West Virginia. By turns tender, angry, and mournful, this powerful song collection takes an unflinching look at life in America’s coal country. Mattea’s rich alto has rarely sounded better—she brings deep emotional resonance and commitment to every track. Drawing on such revered folk songwriters as Alice Gerrard, Hazel Dickens, and Jean Ritchie for material, she balances tunes that highlight the Appalachian people with those capturing the beauty and mystery of the landscape. She gives “West Virginia Mine Disaster” the stern grace of a classic mountain ballad and adds bluegrass fire to the moodily upbeat “Hello, My Name Is Coal.” Vivid nature-themed pieces like “The Wood Thrush Song” and “The Maple’s Lament” are infused with a rustic mysticism. Especially striking are Mattea’s riveting a cappella readings of “Now Is the Cool of the Day” and the title tune. Featuring vocal contributions by the likes of Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, and Emmylou Harris, Calling Me Home is a work of exceptional conviction and feeling; it's one of the best folk albums of 2012.

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