Two-time Grammy winner and Country Music Association female vocalist of the year Kathy Mattea is a dedicated arts and education advocate, as well as a social and environmental activist, especially for issues regarding her homeland of Appalachia. She is also a much-honored singer and songwriter with 16 Top 10 songs in her repertoire. Signing with Mercury Records in 1983, the West Virginia native released her first No. 1 single, , "Goin' Gone," in 1987 and a year later, "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses," which won both the Country Music Association's and Academy of Country Music's Single Of The Year award. Mattea now has produced 18 albums, including the 2008 release, Coal, which paid tribute to, she says, "my place and my people" and the humane and environmental issues surrounding the coal mining industry in Appalachia.
Mattea, she says, listens to her musical conscience. Her newest release, Calling Me Home, is available for pre-order this fall and takes her back to her folk and bluegrass roots. It's a very good place for Mattea to be, her website says. "I feel like I just made the album of my life; I articulated something I was put here to say. It's my childhood and life experience of a sense of place and culture and history and family, and of all the music that I've learned and all I've learned performing all rolled into one thing."