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Environmental concerns: Kathy Mattea’s ‘Coal’ album draws its focus from West Virginia roots

Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Kathy Mattea will be speaking about her musical career that has lasted more than 30 years. The convocation takes place at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 3 in the Neely Dining Room.

She has been honored for her music with multiple CMA, ACM, and Grammy Awards, including 1989 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and the 1990 Grammy for Best Country Performance/ Female. She has released 18 Top Ten singles, including the country music chart toppers “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” and “Goin’ Gone.”

Mattea has just released her latest album, “Coal,” a critically acclaimed project paying homage to her roots.

Raised near Charleston, W.Va, Mattea grew up surrounded by mining culture, and the influence is prevalent in Coal. The album, one Mattea has been dreaming of creating for years, addresses the day-ti-day life struggles of a mining community.

The Nashville Scene said Mattea’s “social commentary,” helped land her the role of spokesperson for the Christian environmentalist group, Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship.

“Concern for God’s Creation is not a matter of being liberal or conservative, a Republican or a Democrat,” according to LEAF’s website. “We believe people of faith can look beyond such distinctions and do the Lord’s work together.”

Growing up around mining culture, Mattea saw a need for LEAF’s voice and began to support this group’s initiative to raise awareness of the environmental concerns of mountaintop removal.

Mountaintop removal is the process of mining coal or other substances by removing the earth at the peak through explosives. This process can have adverse effects on the environment of the mountain.

Mattea and LEAF are working to enable the Christian community in East Tennessee to step up and fight this practice through the availability of literature, e-mail campaigns and public speaking opportunities.

Mattea’s lecture will touch both on her career in the music industry as well as her life as an environmentalist and Christian.

Kathy Mattea: Career & Coal

Entertainer and environmentalist Kathy Mattea will talk about both her career and her concern for the environment 10-11 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 3 in Neely Dining Hall. Christian Faith Development convo credit will be available.

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