A Mountain Stage podcast of our show featuring WV girl-done-good Kathy Mattea, along with slide guitar hero Sonny Landreth (also performing as part of FestivALL Charleston), Tift Merritt, Tim O'Brien (another proud West Virginian) and Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet.
Originally recorded March 30th, 2008 at the beautiful historic Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, KY, this show was special even beyond the star-studded line-up of artists. Mattea, whose folks were raised in coal camps where their parents worked, debuted material from her latest CD, out now, entitled "Coal." Mattea has always had a knack for choosing appropriate material for her voice and this time was no exception. She dusted off some coal tunes by the likes of Hazel Dickens, Billy Edd Wheeler, Jean Ritchie and Utah Phillips and made them her own. On this episode of Mountain Stage she performed "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive," "Green Rolling Hills," "Red Winged Blackbird," and a stirring, a capella reading of Dickens' "Black Lung."
One of the most unique things about Mountain Stage is the finale song, where guest artists are invited back to the stage for an "all-skate" number to bring the show to a close. Often times the finale is used for fading out the end of the radio show. This time, however, you get every note.
Not only was the band top notch (featuring solos from Sonny Landreth, Bill Cooley, Bela Fleck, Ben Sollee, Casey Driessen and Tim O'Brien and verses sung by Mattea, Washburn and O'Brien) but the material was fit for the occasion. Listen as Larry Groce tells the story behind Florence Reece's "Which Side Are You On," an emotionally charged labor-conflict song with a riviting performance by Larry Groce & Company- a real treat that you won't find anywhere else. Chances are you'll want to hear it twice. Click here to visit our archives and download the show.
We'd also like to thank those folks in Ashland and surrounding areas who came to the Paramount to see the show in person. We look forward to seeing you again someday.
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for listening!