the Buzz for July 15th, 2008


One of country music’s most beloved and respected artists looks back to the roots of her raisin’ with a challenging yet oddly comforting new project. Infused with the spirit and sound of warm, heart-tugging bluegrass, Coal finds the estimable Kathy Mattea continuing to stretch the staid boundaries of her creativity in search of a rich, resonant truth. Devastated by the recent rash of fatal mining disasters, and haunted by her own West Virginian upbringing (as the child from a significant lineage of black-lunged, sunken-cheeked coal miners), Mattea channels her own conflicted emotions and her own honey-sweet voice into eleven traditional dirges and spirituals.