STORY & PHOTOS BY GLENDA S. PARADEE
Kathy Mattea held two LIVE concerts at the City Winery, Nashville's Music City Wine Garden in Nashville, TN on Sunday, October 25, 2020.
They were the first LIVE concerts Mattea has performed since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic that put an end to performing music LIVE.
The first show was live-streamed.
For Covid safety reasons for the patrons, the venue set up a beautifully decorated large tent outside for the concerts. The audience was smaller, with socially distanced tables set up, and everyone was only allowed in the venue if they were wearing masks. Then at their table, they were allowed to take off their masks for eating or drinking.
Mattea sang many of her hits from throughout her long career, including Goin' Gone, Time Passes By, Love at the Five & Dime, Untold Stories, 455 Rocket, Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses, Walking Away A Winner, Where've You Been, Come From The Heart, Green Rolling Hills, and Coal Tattoo. Mattea also sang Seeds, which was a request from a member of the audience.
Mattea also sang many songs from her newest CD titled, "Pretty Bird", including Holy Now, Chocolate On My Tongue, Ode to Billy Joe, Mercy Now, This Love Will Carry, October Song, and I Can't Stand Up Alone.
During her concert, to keep the audience safe during the singalong chorus of Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses, Mattea played a portion of the virtual singalong recording in which over 80 fan club members had participated in last March.
Check out the live video of Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses portion of the show HERE
Check out the live video portion of the show of Kathy singing her second encore in the second show. The song is Jon Vezner and Carson Whitsett’s October Song HERE
We all need a little mercy now. Check out the live video portion of the show of Kathy singing Mercy Now HERE
Mattea sure has a way with words. During her shows she told many fun and interesting stories. One sweet story in particular was that she got to watch a family of bald eagles and their eaglets for a couple of months while her and her husband, songwriter Jon Vezner, were recently visiting in Minnesota. Mattea always has a good rapport with her audience. She's not afraid to have a bit of fun. She also gives credit to the songwriters of her songs.
These were the first concerts Mattea did without her long time guitar player, Bill Cooley. But Mattea did great on all her guitar licks. She said she was taught online guitar lessons from Bill over the summer months.
During these concert performances, Mattea was accompanied by Fred Carpenter, Mandolin and Fiddle, and Eric Frey, Bass, whom both did a fantastic job. Kathy lovingly called her band, The Covid Mountain Front Porch String Band.
With each show, Mattea received well deserved standing ovations from the most appreciative audience. Mattea gave encores in both shows.
Mattea's shows are like riding a roller coaster. The anticipation, the twists and turns of your emotions, you laugh and you cry, and when it's all over, you can't wait to go again!!!
Many of Mattea's fan club members, the Matteaheads, were in attendance from all over the country. I am proud to be a Matteahead myself! The Kathy Mattea Fan Club members presented Kathy with a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
I want to thank the City Winery Nashville for having Kathy Mattea perform a LIVE and in person show.
The City Winery Nashville
609 LAFAYETTE STREET, NASHVILLE, TN, 37203
Check out all their other upcoming shows on their website:
MORE ON KATHY MATTEA:
Hailed by The Washington Post as “one of Nashville's finest song interpreters,” Kathy Mattea has enjoyed the kind of success many artists only dream of: two GRAMMY wins, four CMA Awards, four #1 country singles, and five gold albums(plus a platinum collection of her greatest hits). The dream almost ended, though, when Mattea entered her 50s and began to find her voice changing. What followed was a three year journey through life challenges and vocal glitches that she describes as her “dark night of the soul,” a trying time of personal anguish and professional uncertainty that threatened to silence her permanently. “The hardest thing was facing the question of whether I would still be able to sing well enough to enjoy it. That was the acid test for me, and I had to be willing to walk through a process that bumped me up against the very real possibility that, in the end, the answer might be “No.” Instead, Mattea dug in with a vocal coach, re-committed to her music, and emerged with the most poignant album of her career, “Pretty Bird.” Working with her old friend, music roots wizard Tim O’Brien, producing, “Pretty Bird” is a chronicle of her journey, song by song, back to singing for the sheer joy of it. It’s an emotional, moving collection, one that draws its strength not only from Mattea’s touching performances, but also from her uncanny ability to weave seemingly disparate material into a cohesive whole. From a playful take on Oliver Wood’s “Chocolate On My Tongue” to a tender rendition of Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now,” from a British traditional to a Bobbie Gentry classic, these are the songs that helped Mattea reclaim her voice, and she inhabits each as fully as if it were her own. Exquisitely arranged and delivered with the kind of subtlety and nuance that can only come from a lifetime of heartbreak and triumph, ‘Pretty Bird’ is a title Kathy Mattea inhabits quite literally, and it’s a welcome reintroduction to one of country and Americana music’s most enduring and beloved figures
MORE ON KATHY MATTEA'S NEWEST RELEASE TITLED PRETTY BIRD:
CMA Award-winning vocalist Kathy Mattea's newest release is titled Pretty Bird. A sublime acoustic collection including a number of smartly chosen and heartfelt covers, the record marks something of a new era in Mattea's 30-plus-year career. Over the past several years her deep, rich singing voice has experienced significant changes that could have put a permanent end to her performing, but after extensive vocal training she has emerged from what she refers to as her "dark night of the soul" with a duskier instrument. That newly trained but still memorable voice, which gave country fans such hits as "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses" and "Love at the Five and Dime," is at the very heart of one of the year's most affecting LPs.
"This album has led me, slowly and unexpectedly, into new nooks and crannies of singing," Mattea tells Rolling Stone Country. "Songs showed up in random ways... and became part of our musical landscape during regular Thursday jam sessions in my living room. It's a very eclectic collection, and for me, each song has a very specific reason for being here, showing me some new point of view about singing along the way." One of country music's most successful artists of the past several decades, Mattea, a two-time Grammy winner, has always approached her material, even the most mainstream country, with an eclecticism and sense of deeper meaning. Those elements are vibrantly evident on "I Can't Stand Up Alone," the first track to premiere from the upcoming collection, which was produced by Mattea's longtime friend and frequent collaborator Tim O'Brien. Written by country-gospel legend Martha Carson in the Fifties, Mattea's soulful version is a sparkling mélange of those genres, with touches of blues and Appalachian mountain music. The uplifting tune serves as a fitting tribute to singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, who died in 2014, and whose version inspired this one. "I've always loved his version of this song," Mattea says. "I saw him at Nashville's old Exit/In when I was about 20 years old, and I remember him singing it that night. When he died, I was watching YouTube videos of him out on the road, and remembered this. We kept trying to find a way to make it work for us in our live show, and Bill Cooley came up with this cool guitar lick as a backdrop. He was thinking of a kind of Little Feat funky soul style, but by the time we finished it in the studio with Tim, it had gone full tilt Jug Band. I love it, and have had so much fun singing it live – especially when I can have a bunch of backup singers!" Mattea's always impeccable taste for fellow artists and writers is once again evident on Pretty Bird, with the sorrowful title cut coming from iconic bluegrass singer-songwriter Hazel Dickens. Performed a cappella, the LP's closing track is a tender nod to the singer's West Virginia roots. Other notable cuts on the new record include the Wood Brothers' "Chocolate on My Tongue," an unadorned but effective version of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe," a buoyant, spiritual take on Joan Osborne's "St. Teresa," the hopeful "This Love Will Carry," featuring harmony vocals by the song's writer, Scottish folk musician Dougie MacLean, and "Holy Now," written by Peter Mayer.
FOR MORE ON KATHY MATTEA, GO TO HER WEBSITE: WWW.MATTEA.COM
THANKS FOR THE MUSIC KATHY!