HIGHMOUNT, New York ??вЂќ Country Music Association Performer of the Year Kathy Mattea brings her spectacular live show to the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount on Saturday, July 23 at 8 p.m.Kathy has long been one of country music’s most distinctive and critically acclaimed artists. She’s won two Grammy awards, two Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year awards and her song “Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses” was named CMA Single of the Year.
In an era of grandstanding artistry and pop celebrities who change with each new trend, Kathy Mattea has remained grounded in who she is: a folk-based roots performer and a well-written song’s best friend. She’s let her own instincts be her guide rather taking cues from what other artists are doing.
There is greatness in how Kathy interprets a song, whether it’s as touching as “Where’ve You Been” and “They Are The Roses” or as rousing as “Come From The Heart and Walking Away A Winner.”Her albums have always owned an adventuresome quality, from the rollicking acoustic sounds of “Untasted Honey” and “Lonesome Standard Time to the Celtic” influences of “Time Passes By” and “Love Travels” to the rockin’ sound of “Walking Away A Winner.”
Kathy became the first country music star to make a public statement about AIDS when she addressed the issue on the 1992 network telecast of the CMA Awards. She later organized “Red Hot & Country,” an album that raised funds for AIDS research and education.Backing Kathy at Belleayre will be one of the tightest bands around. Drummer Jim Brock is a master percussionist who uses an array of instruments – many of which he designed and built himself. Bill Cooley is a stalwart Nashville veteran, called “one of Nashville’s most respected sidemen” by Guitar Player magazine. After stints with Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson and Hal Ketchum, he joined forces with Kathy for whom he has served as guitarist and bandleader for the last 12 years.
Randy Leago is one of the most creative and in-demand musicians in Nashville. He is a multi-instrumentalist with Kathy, singing and playing a large collection of keyboards and woodwinds. His career has been marked by performances, tours and recordings with a wide range of artists such as Rodney Crowell, Deana Waylon Jennings, Lucinda Williams and the Dixie Chicks.
Violinist/fiddler Eamonn O’Rourke was born in Donegal, Ireland and has been living in the United States since 1993. During that time, Eamonn has established himself as one of New York’s finest musicians. Bassist Rick Blackwell first earned acclaim with his own band and later became a sought-after touring musicican, joining Kathy’s band in 2002.
Tickets for the Kathy Mattea show range from $15 on the lawn to $55 for premium tent seating. Children under age 12 are admitted free on the lawn.