Kathy Mattea – Love Travels (1997)

FrontCover1.jpgKathleen Alice Mattea (born June 21, 1959) is an American country music and bluegrass singer. Active since 1984 as a recording artist, she has charted more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including four that reached No. 1: “Goin’ Gone”, “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses”, “Come from the Heart”, and “Burnin’ Old Memories”, plus twelve more that charted within the top ten. She has released fourteen studio albums, two Christmas albums, and one greatest hits album. Most of her material was recorded for Universal Music Group Nashville’s Mercury Records Nashville division between 1984 and 2000, with later albums being issued on Narada Productions, her own Captain Potato label, and Sugar Hill Records. Among her albums, she has received five gold certifications and one platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She has collaborated with Dolly Parton, Michael McDonald, Tim O’Brien, and her husband, Jon Vezner. Mattea is also a two-time Grammy Award winner: in 1990 for “Where’ve You Been”, and in 1993 for her Christmas album Good News. Her style is defined by traditional country, bluegrass, folk, and Celtic music influences.


Love Travels is the ninth studio album released by American country music singer Kathy Mattea. It was released in 1997 (see 1997 in country music) on Mercury Records, the label to which she had been signed since 1984. Three singles were released from it: “455 Rocket”, “I’m on Your Side”, and “Love Travels”. “455 Rocket” was the highest charting, reaching a peak of #21 on the Billboard country charts, while “Love Travels” was her final Top 40 country entry at #39. Suzy Bogguss sang background vocals on “Further and Further Away.” (by wikipedia)


Mattea is a tasteful, thoughtful singer who uses country music as a means to an end. Her music is not so much rooted in the country tradition as it is a by-product of it. Mattea’s roots are more James Taylor than George Jones, and while steel guitars and 2/4 rhythms abound, LOVE TRAVELS is more an album of stylized Nashville folk-pop than neo-country.

To flesh out her introspective vision, Mattea reaches beyond the usual stable of Nashville songwriters to include songs by some honest-to-god singer-songwriter types. Gillian Welch contributes “Patiently Waiting” and “455 Rocket,” and they show Welch to be capable of writing outside her own trad-country performance style. Jim Lauderdale’s “I’m On Your Side,” an unsentimental oath of loyalty, is one of the album’s highlights. Janis Ian’s moody, minor-key “All Roads To The River” lends a dark side to LOVE TRAVELS. The clean but homey production of Mattea and Ben Wisch creates an atmosphere through which the subtle beauty of the songs can clearly be seen.

Recorded at Woodland Studios, Nashville, Tennessee


Chris Carmichael (violin)
Lionel Cartwright (piano, background vocals)
Bill Cooley (guitar)
Jerry Douglas (dobro)
Stuart Duncan (mandolin)
Paul Franklin (pedal steel-guitar)
Bob Halligan, Jr. (guitar, piano)
James “Hutch” Hutchinson (bass)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Abe Laboriel, Jr, (drums, percussion)
Jim Lauderdale (guitar)
Steve Lauer (accordion, harmonium)
Tim Lauer (synthesizer)
Hunter Lee (whistle, bagpipes)
Duke Levine (guitar)
Kathy Mattea (vocals)
Edgar Meyer (bass)
Don Potter (guitar)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Kirby Shelstad (percussion)
Steve Sturm (pedal steel-guitar)
Ben Wisch (synthesizer, background vocals)
background vocals:
Jonatha Brooke – Michael McDonald – Kim Richey


01. Love Travels (B.Halligan Jr./L.Halligan) 5.31
02. Sending Me Angels (Miller/Williams) 4.16
03. Patiently Waiting (Welch) 5.05
04. If That’s What You Call Love (Cartwright) 4.30
05. Further And Further Away (Wheeler) 4.32
06. 455 Rocket (Rawlings/Welch) 4.09
07. I’m On Your Side (Lauderdale) 3.10
08. The Bridge (Jim Pittman/Kimmel) 3.26
09. All Roads To The River (Ian/Vezner) 3.17
10. The End Of The Line (Fleming/Cawley/Kennedy) 4.29
11. Beautiful Fool (Henry) 4.52




Still alive & well: