Kathy Mattea - Even more impressive than her substantial cache of awards, Grammys and gold records, Cross Lanes native Kathy Mattea has made her mark in Nashville as a leader rather than a follower. After scoring with Top 10 singles like "Love At the Five & Dime," "Walk the Way the Wind Blows," “Where Have You Been,” and "Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses," she began infusing her music with musical influences ranging from rock and gospel to folk, and tapping Celtic musicians like Dougie MacLean. After winning a Grammy for "Best Female Country Vocal" in 1990, Mattea made several trips to Scotland to study the links between country music and traditional Scottish folk. In 1993, she won a Grammy for "Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Gospel Album" for the Christmas CD "Good News." In 2000, she released "The Innocent Years," a heartfelt tribute to her ailing father, followed by 2003's "Joy For Christmas Day" and 2005's "Right Out of Nowhere." Shaken by the 2006 Sago Mine disaster, Mattea - whose parents were raised in coal camps and grandfathers worked in the mines led to her 2008 release, "Coal," which includes songs written by West Virginians Billy Edd Wheeler and Hazel Dickens that focus on the hardships of life in the coalfields.
Shannon Whitworth - As a founding member of the popular acoustic quartet The Biscuit Burners, Shannon Whitworth spent four years touring the U.S., singing and playing clawhammer banjo and guitar. On the BB’s 2004 release, Whitworth’s ballad, 'Come On Darlin' was chosen as the IPOD Hotpick Bluegrass Song of the Year of 2004, while the album was picked as one of the Top 10 Bluegrass Albums of the Year by "The Chicago Tribune." With the release of her solo debut, "No Expectations," WNCW’s Martin Anderson noted that "her sound should definitely be considered one of the definitive sounds of the mountains of Western North Carolina."
Or, The Whale - Named "Best Americana/Roots Artist" in the 2008 Hollywood Music Awards, San Francisco’s seven member Or, The Whale features equal parts soaring vocal harmonies and Neil Young-inspired guitar riffs. The band has been featured on "Good Morning America" and written up in "USA Today," "Paste," "Magnet," and "Billboard" magazines. Led by vocalist/guitarist Alex Robins, the band has played to sold-out houses on both coasts, and performed with the likes of Fleet Foxes, Devil Makes Three, The Dodos, and Two Gallants.
The Ahs - The Hinton, WV duo of Amy McIntire and Tony Rogers made its debut in 2005, at the Keene Music Festival in New Hampshire. Classically trained, Rogers draws from years of studying German etudes and Bach Suites while McIntire grew up steeped in the folk tradition. With a sound alternately described as "comedy and tragedy" and "symphonic folk," Rogers’ explosive cello lines compliment McIntire’s pared-down, ethereal banjo riffs while their harmonies blend effortlessly.
The Songcatchers - Dr. Everett Alan Lilly, founder/leader of the Songcatchers, is the son of Everett Lilly of WV’s famed Lilly Brothers. Beckley natives, Everett and his late brother Bea, were among the first WV musical emissaries to introduce its brand of bluegrass to Boston - and, years later, to Japan. Everett Alan was in that group for most of the band’s years in Boston. He was also a member of Boston’s Charles River Valley Boys that released the 1966 LP "Beatles County" which featured innovative bluegrass arrangements of Beatles’ songs.. The Songcatchers evolved from traditional music classes taught by Lilly at Mountain State University. The group performs in the Carter Family tradition with close harmonies accompanied by acoustic instruments.
This program will be released nationally by NPR on November 20.
For more information, including hi-res photos, please contact Adam Harris at 304 556 4900