EntertainmentOn Campus

Kathy Mattea Brings Joyful Noise to Mitrani Hall

Grammy award-winning country singer, Kathy Mattea entertained an audience in Mitrani Hall on Friday, April 26, with her charm, wit, and soul filled music.

The CMA award-winning performer recently released a new album full of stories from the Appalachian coal country. This talented musician went from mainstream country to a style more rooted in folk music, a genre that she grew up around. Combining her deep, resonating vocals with a talented band, Mattea sang of sweet, saddening, and emboldening tales that took the audience on a journey.

Mattea said that making “Calling Me Home,” her new album, was like, “going back and picking up the missing jigsaw pieces,” in her life.

Each song was a clearly pictured tale, courtesy of masterfully written lyrics partnered with guitars, a slap bass, a fiddle, and a banjo. When an upbeat song resonated through the hall, the audience couldn’t resist tapping and singing along.

At one point in her performance, Mattea halted to explain that the recently struck five chords was a musical invitation for the crowd to sing along with her. The audience obliged the musician’s request, timidly at first, producing what Mattea called a “blendy soup” of sound. After a bit of encouragement, the audience produced the desired “joyful noise” that Mattea had requested.

According to Mattea, singing is a birthright; a right she has clearly perfected into a perfectly fitting career she adores. She shared stories of trucks, trains, gasoline and coal. Mattea took the crowd from the auditorium to Kentucky, then West Virginia and back again. The evening’s performance was not just musically entertaining, but a feast for all of the senses.