The power and grace of Kathy Mattea |

The power and grace of Kathy Mattea

Staff Reports

Two-time Grammy Award-winning country artist Kathy Mattea, who brings her talented and diverse band to the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek Friday, Feb. 7, promises it will be an “electric journey.” Performing songs from her new album “Roses,” as well as older songs, Mattea describes the show as “a wide range of stuff” accompanied by her band, which she says is a mind-blowing group of musicians.”I have this amazing band. There is a hippy percussionist, an African American base player who sings his butt off, a fiddler from Ireland, and a keyboard player who is a musical scholar,” Mattea says. “It is a very eclectic band, and it makes a very unique sound. My job is to just get out of their way.”Although this country star is humble enough to share the spotlight with her band, she fails to mention that it is her spellbinding alto voice that leaves such a lasting impression on her audience.Thomas Kintner of the Hartford Courant wrote that, “Mattea’s voice stands out as a rare blend of warmth and power .” Combining a talented band with a collection of beautiful lyrics, Mattea’s group is striking the right chords with audiences all over.Mattea and her band create a potpourri of sounds that connect the genres of country, folk and Celtic music. This mixture of sound is one example of the type of creativity that Mattea has been bold enough to express throughout her career.Asked what she cherished most about her musical experience, Mattea emphasises “the longevity of my career and the fact that it is a unique combination of people that allow me to define my career for myself, and I have had a lot of freedom and guidance from people who really care about me.”One of those people is Mattea’s husband, Jon Vezner, who has written several songs Mattea performs. Songs such as “Ashes in the Wind” and “Where’ve You Been?” are true stories in Vezner’s life that he has transformed into verse.Expressing these experiences together with her husband has been so amazing, Mattea explains, because “I knew what the significance of the stories are for him.. Songs are at their best when the writer tunes into something very personal and that’s when it becomes universal and that’s the magic in it.”The magic of Mattea’s lyrics and sound has allowed her to find her niche within the larger world of country music. “I feel like at this moment in my life I am able to work and have a core group of fans that follow me. It is very fulfilling. I really savor every show, and now I have time to reflect on and absorb my experiences fully.”Mattea found a way to reflect on and absorb her success by touring less, which enables her to have “a balance between down time and road work.”When Mattea and the band are not on the road, they are working on a Christmas album that is a follow-up on Mattea’s earlier collection that won a Grammy. Mattea’s new collection will be out by next Christmas, and she believes it will be one of her best albums yet.As Mattea continues to explore her musical gift and expand her musical horizons, she is creating a sound that has integrity and resonates with audiences everywhere. To experience her music live, call The Vilar Center for the Arts at (970) 845-TIXS for tickets to her Friday, Feb. 7, show. by Molly Shea

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