Kathy Mattea On Mountain Stage She's best known for turning out country-music hits, but Mattea has also explored Scottish folk, gospel and roots music. For her latest record, Coal, the singer drew on her family's roots in the coal industry to create a series of personal takes on old mining songs.

Kathy Mattea On Mountain Stage

Kathy Mattea in Concert On Mountain Stage - 02/12/09

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Set List

  • "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"
  • "Green Rolling Hills"
  • "Red-Winged Blackbird"
  • "Black Lung"

Kathy Mattea. Brian Blauser hide caption

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Brian Blauser

Singer Kathy Mattea has never stuck to conventions within any genre: A country-music hitmaker in the late '80s and early '90s, Mattea has also made forays into Scottish folk, gospel and roots music. In 2008, she made perhaps the most personal record of her career, Coal.

Mattea, a West Virginia native and the granddaughter of coalminers, drew material for her collection of coal-themed songs from the likes of Darrell Scott ("You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"), Utah Phillips and Alice Gerrard ("Green Rolling Hills") and two of her fellow West Virginians, Billy Edd Wheeler ("Red-Winged Blackbird") and Hazel Dickens (the a cappella "Black Lung").

Mattea first visited Mountain Stage in 1986, and has logged 17 appearances. Here, she's joined by longtime guitarist Bill Cooley, Eamon O'Rourke on fiddle and mandolin and David Spicher on bass. Fellow West Virginian Tim O'Brien (heard Friday on NPR Music) sings harmony in "Green Rolling Hills."