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
“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.
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.