National Public Radio and West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Mountain Stage today announced that West Virginia native Kathy Mattea will take over as the new host starting September 9.
Mattea, a two-time Grammy winner from Cross Lanes, West Virginia, has performed on the world-renowned show hosted in Charleston, West Virginia, more than any other female artist, second only to fellow West Virginia native Tim O'Brien.
Larry Groce, Mountain Stage co-founder, and longtime host since its inception in 1983, will hand the reins over after 37 years but will remain with the program as an artist director and appear as host on occasion.
Groce said the native Mattae was simply the ideal person for the job.
"Kathy's been coming on the show for more than 30 years now," Groce said, "and in all that time and with all her success, she really hasn't changed who she is at her core.
"She embodies the best of West Virginia the same way Mountain Stage does, and that how knew she'd be the perfect person for this job"
Mattea added that the weekly radio program is exceptional in its embodiment of the Mountain State.
"There's something quintessentially West Virginia about Mountain Stage," she said.
"Beyond the world-class performances, beyond the collaborative atmosphere, beyond how much fun it is, I think the show offers a really important insight into the people and the culture that makes West Virginia so special, and I'm always thrilled to help share that with the world."
For nearly 40 years, Mountain Stage has become an important American institution, standing as one of the most beloved and enduring programs in public radio history, broadcasting thousands of unforgeable live performances by rising stars and veteran legends alike.
Produced out of the Culture Center Theater at the state capitol, Mountain Stage is recorded in front of an audience and features a variety of music styles, in genres ranging from traditional roots, folks, blues and country to indie rock, alternative, synth pop, world music and beyond.
Some of its most iconic guests over the years have included Regina Spektor, John Prince, Odetta, Wilco, R.E.M., Angelique Kidjo, Phish, Mavis Staples, Allen Toussaint, Alison Krauss, Townes Van Zandt, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, and Buddy Guy.
Earlier this summer the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. announced they will host and present an upcoming taping of Mountain Stage.
The show will take place on Sunday, October 24 in the Concert Hall and is among more than 120 events celebrating The Kennedy Center's 50th Anniversary season. The program will include guest appearances by Asleep at The Wheel, Tim O'Brien with Jan Fabricius, and Carsie Blanton.
Mountain Stage is distributed to more than 200 U.S. radio stations by NPR, and can be heard on WVPB. For listings check your local stations. To learn more about Mountain Stage visit https://mountainstage.org and https://www.npr.org/series/mountain-stage/.