Kathleen Alice "Kathy" Mattea is an American country music and bluegrass performer who often brings folk, Celtic, and traditional country sounds to her music. Active since 1983 as a recording artist, she has recorded seventeen albums and has charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts.
Kathy Mattea has always teetered on the Nashville edge with her music. On Roses, her 13th studio album, she pushes the envelope, bringing to the forefront the blending of the Scottish/Irish music found in small doses on her last few albums. "That's All the Lumber You Sent," the first track, screams Celtic, as does the instrumental "Isle of Inishmore." But whatever the musical style, brooding and contemplative lyrics accompany all of the tracks. Mattea's warm alto voice comes across opulently in "The Slender Threads That Bind Us Here" and the Kim Richey remake "I'm Alright." This album isn't the country music of the former Grammy-winner and CMA vocalist of the year, but it wins high marks for creative expression and originality.
Mattea had vocal-cord surgery that threatened to end her career before she made Lonesome Standard Time, but you couldn't prove it by listening: her voice hasn't lost a bit of its deep alto warmth. Lonesome Standard Time isn't as ambitious as Time Passes By, but it's filled with lovely performances from Mattea's favorite sources: bluegrass ("Lonesome Standard Time"), gospel-influenced country ("Standing Knee Deep in a River (Dying of Thirst)") and Nanci Griffith ("Listen to the Radio").