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Calling Me Home CD

52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Most artists take fewer and fewer risks as they get older, but Kathy Mattea is a striking exception. She didn t play it safe while
she charted mainstream country hits 16 of them reaching the top ten and she s not about to start now.
Four years ago, Mattea, one of the most sure-footed country-pop song interpreters of her generation, caught everyone off guard
with an album of old-timey Appalachian mining songs called Coal. She s delved even deeper into her Appalachian heritage with
Calling Me Home, available from Sugar Hill. Co-produced with modern acoustic mastermind Gary
Paczosa and featuring liner notes from bestselling author, and Kentucky-born kindred spirit, Barbara Kingsolver.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B008JFQU3Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bruce A. Potts on September 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Kathy Mattea's latest effort just may be her best yet. A superb collection of songs that celebrate the rich history of the Appalachian Mountains, Mattea's new CD "Calling Me Home" follows her critically acclaimed "Coal" album with a diverse set of songs which treat the listener to virtually a poetry reading set to music. The songwriting is impeccable here, as is the singing, which further cements Mattea's expertise at interpreting material as though it indeed flowed from her own pen.

From the opening strains of Michael and Janet Dowling's brisk and endearing, fiddle driven "A Far Cry", to the closing instrumental number "Requiem for A Mountain", Mattea grabs hold of your attention, tugs at your heart and never lets go. In between the opening and closing tracks, there are themes of the love of the land where one comes from, such as the aforementioned "A Far Cry", and the tender "West Virginia, My Home". The theme of coal is ever present as well, in the moving "West Virginia Mining Disaster" and "Hello My Name Is Coal". Also beautifully executed is Jean Ritchie's "Black Waters". a heartbreaking lament of the environmental devastation wrought by the mining of coal, leaving the waters polluted beyond redemption.

Best of all perhaps is the stunning acapella treatment of two Alice Gerrard compositions, the title track "Calling Me Home" and "Now Is The Cool of the Day". The former is a treatise on death and the latter a reflective hymn of sorts about the beauty of the earth to which God has entrusted the stewardship of to man, with the implication that the day of reckoning has come for our failure to oversee admirably the bounty entrusted to us.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Kathy Mattea
"Calling Me Home"
(Sugar Hill, 2012)
If you liked Kathy Mattea's 2008 album, "Coal," about the hardships and heartbreak of coal mining, then you'll love this record, too. It's a moody, mournful mix of country and quiet folk, a lushly arranged set of music exploring the history and culture of Appalachia, with songs by Jean Ritchie, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, bluegrasser Laurie Lewis and labor activist Si Kahn, digging deep into the poetic soul of the East Coast's mountains and forest lands. She's backed by several top tier bluegrass artists -- Stuart Duncan, Tim O'Brien, Randy Kohrs, Bryan Sutton and others -- with harmony vocals from Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless and Aoife O'Donnell (the Harris-Loveless-Mattea trio on "Black Waters" is not to be missed!) The dignity of the Eastern mountains and the people who live there is brought into modern times... Mattea's fans, particularly those who liked the "Coal" album, will definitely want to check this out. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Shepherd on September 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
"Calling Me Home" as well as "Coal" are the best CDs that I have purchased in quite a while. Kathy's voice is beautiful, as usual. The Instrumentation on both albums is understated, simple and just perfect for these songs. I only hope that she continues exploring these West Virginia/Kentucky/Coal Mining songs. I just bought "Calling Me Home" on the day it was released and I am already awaiting the next CD from this gifted and talented lady.........If I may, I'd like to also recommend the "Music of Coal" box set of music from the Appalachian coalfields. Some primitive stuff on these CDs but a perfect compliment to Kathy's outstanding music.......PLEASE keep it up, Kathy........Thank you for what you've given to the world of music.....God bless you

John Shepherd
Chesapeake, Va
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SewerLabGuy on September 28, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Kathy Mattea has found a successful formula with her Grammy award winning "Coal". If you liked it, you'll like "Calling Me Home". It's not exactly Bluegrass, but it's a mix of bluegrass, folk, and even some gospel-tinted tunes. There are a few coal mining tunes, and number of laments on how our ecosystem is being destroyed. Personal favorites are "Hello, My Name is Coal", a song that explores the coal industry's good and darker sides equally, and "Requiem for a Mountain", a lovely acoustic guitar number at the end. Again, if you liked "Coal", and I did, you'll like "Calling Me Home."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr S P Briggs on October 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How do you sustain a career in the music industry for over a quarter of a century? Answer: Evolve.

The days of the top ten Billboard Country chart may be behind Ms Mattea now, but her music has moved to a genre that still combines high quality musicianship and songwriting with one of the best voices in the business.

There is a strong connection with Appalachia in this recording in both the lyrics and the folk/bluegrass music. This is a plaintive story of West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky that follows neatly on from the artist's previous offering, "Coal".

As a fan, it is difficult to make an objective assessment; however, at the time of writing, my favourites would be "The Wood Thrush's Song", "Black Waters" and "Agate Hill".

Curious that the title track should be an a cappella farewell song, one of three songs from the pen of Alice Gerrard. Despite the dark subject of many of these songs, there is something very soothing about their rendition.

If you are a newcomer to Kathy's work, start here and work backwards through the catalogue.
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