Kathy Mattea is one of the most successful and celebrated country and bluegrass stars of the last four decades. The singer, songwriter and guitarist from West Virginia has had many a great song rock Nashville and climb the Hot Country Billboard charts. Over the course of her career, Mattea has released 15 studio albums, with her most recent being 2018's Pretty Bird, produced by Tim O'Brien. She has also collaborated with some of music's other big stars, such as Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Heck, Mattea is even a two-time Grammy winner.
From songs about heartbreak to relatable tunes about life, Mattea graced the music world with some songwriting gems. In honor of her contributions to the Americana and country scene, here are our favorite Kathy Mattea songs assembled from her greatest hits.
1. "Eighteen Wheels and A Dozen Roses"
Arguably one of the great country music love song titles, this tune about a trucker on his way home to his true love remains one of Mattea's biggest hits.
2. "Come From the Heart"
Released in 1990... this video is so, so awesomely '90s.
3. "Untold Stories"
"Untold Stories" was released in 1988 on Mattea's album Untasted Honey.
4. "Love at the Five and Dime"
Another competitor for best country love song title. "Love At the Five and Dime" was written by fellow folk artist Nanci Griffith.
5. "Walking Away a Winner"
That's what we all want out of a breakup, isn't it?
6. "Burnin' Old Memories"
Sometimes you just gotta crank up the fireplace and get rid of your ex's crap.
7. "She Came From Fort Worth"
An epic song from an even more epic talent.
8. "Walk the Way the Wind Blows"
Sometimes the best advice in life is to just go with the flow. Kathy knows.
9. "Goin' Gone"
That's what Kathy's gonna be if you don't treat her right, fellas.
10. "The Battle Hymn of Love"
Kathy's anthem for love is exactly as good as you'd expect.
11. "Life as We Knew It"
If you ever have a bad breakup, dial up the Kathy. She knows how to heal you.
12. "Calling Me Home"
Homesick. Lovesick. Kathy can sing about all the sad feels.
13. "Willow in the Wind"
Few people capture the majesty and soulfulness of the south like Kathy does in this song.
14. "Nobody's Gonna Rain on Our Parade"
Nobody's raining on this parade of Kathy Mattea songs either.
15. "Untasted Honey"
"Untasted Honey" is the title track to Mattea's 1987 studio album, which featured "Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses."
16. "A Few Good Things Remain"
There's only a couple songs left on the list so yeah, a few good things remain.
17. "Ode to Billie Joe"
Mattea's cover of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe" is a reminder of Mattea's status as a country legend and her ability to deliver a captivating story song.
18. "Time Passes By"
Released in 1991, Kathy's song about love and life is a timeless classic. Fun fact: this song also features fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood on background vocals.
19. "Where've You Been"
Kathy Mattea's husband John Vezner wrote this song about his grandparents. It won a Grammy award for Best Country Song in 1990.
20. "455 Rocket"
Honestly, we'd be afraid to race Kathy.
21. "Train of Memories"
Thanks for the train of memories that is your career, Kathy.
A few honorable mentions: "Lonesome Standard Time," "Hello, My Name Is Coal," and "Love Travels."
This post was originally published on September 12, 2019.