Country singer returns to Virginia to host a radio show

Charleston, West Virginia (AP)-Cathy Mattia was just beginning to unpack the box when much of the country was closed due to a coronavirus pandemic.

Country music star returned to West Virginia this month to host a mountain stage for a second live, no-viewer, streaming-only show at Charleston’s Cultural Center Theater, home with her husband John Bezner the previous year. I bought.

They spent months repairing the site and had just left their old home when they had to evacuate to the site.

“Suddenly we had to unpack and move furniture around the world,” said a native of Cross Lanes.

According to Matea, the closure forced her to make her home, but it’s usually not a quick and easy process for those who spend a lot of time on the road. The time has slowed down like crawling.

“It allowed us to really sink our roots in this new place,” she said.

The slowdown spread throughout Matea’s professional life.

Without the show, performers like Matea couldn’t work. Many musicians were worried about paying rent, but not everyone received the shutdown as a loss.

Matea’s longtime guitarist Bill Cooley saw it as a sign.

At the beginning of the pandemic, she said he called her and said, “Cass, I think I’m ready to go out of the way.”

Together 36 years later, Coolie wanted to retire, but he offered to teach her how to play the guitar part of every song.

“So I spent the summer on charts and video lessons and practiced my songs,” Matea said, “it’s good to scare yourself at 60.”

She wasn’t completely at home. When the restrictions were relaxed in the summer, she and her husband went to Minnesota to clean up and sell his family’s lake house. They eventually bought their little hut, a vacation place.

“We always talked about what it means to spend the summer on the lake,” Matea said. “But that never happened. Make a plan, then give a gig.”

They spent two months in the cabin, watching my family raise children and having a picnic dinner with an old friend.

“That was just the best thing,” she said.

However, the deceleration did not last long.

A few weeks ago, Matea attended a performance at a friend’s album release party. The party was held on the spacious porch of a large house in East Nashville.

Fans sat down on lawn chairs in the garden. A neighbor took out the furniture from the living room and came to listen to it nearby.

She also played under a tent in the parking lot of a city winery.

“It’s like a really nice supper club and listening room,” she said. “It’s a very elegant place.”

Normally, a city winery has about 350 seats, but for a safe social distance we have limited the crowd to 100 people.

“People are becoming creative,” she said. “They are trying to keep the music alive.”

She said the mountain stage is trying to do the same.

During the pandemic, the radio show added new affiliates and new listeners.

They wanted to bring a fresh show to both long-time listeners and new listeners, but it took some time for it to work.

“The good news is that it’s a radio show, so you can do it,” Matea said.

She said she was happy to see her guest host again. She said she enjoyed working on the mountain stage and said she had a good show.

“We are wearing Ranky Tongji,” she said. “They’re just fun. They seem like the best band to listen to after COVID.”

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Country singer returns to Virginia to host a radio show

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