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  • Grammy Award-winner and West Virginia native Kathy Mattea will serve as guest host for West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s ‘Mountain Stage with Larry Groce’ this Sunday at the WVU Creative Arts Center

Grammy Award-winner and West Virginia native Kathy Mattea will serve as guest host for West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s ‘Mountain Stage with Larry Groce’ this Sunday at the WVU Creative Arts Center

The 2018-2019 University Arts Series season will come to a close this Sunday night, April 28, at the WVU Creative Arts Center when Mountain Stage with Larry Groce returns with Kathy Mattea as guest host. Darlingside, Greg Brown, Lula Wiles, Si Kahn and The Looping Brothers, and Sean McConnell are scheduled to perform. Tickets, starting at $27, are on sale now at the Mountainlair and CAC box offices, online at, and by phone at 304-293-SHOW (7469) and 800-745-3000.

Indie folk quartet Darlingside (Don Mitchell, Auyon Mukharji, Harris Paseltiner and David Senft) perform all their music around a single vocal microphone, inviting audiences into a lush, intimate world where four voices are truly one. The group’s superpower harmonies have been compared to those of Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Simon and Garfunkel. Audiences are drawn to their lyrics that speak of growing up, growing old, love, loss and the humble experience of being human. They are all skilled instrumentalists and incorporate the mandolin, banjo, cello, violin, electric and acoustic guitar into their music. Their single “Hold Your Head Up High” was recently featured in the season three finale of the hit NBC show “This is Us.”

Iowa-raised singer-songwriter Greg Brown came to music through jam sessions hosted at his family's house, and his recording career dates back to 1974. Brown's mother played electric guitar, his grandfather played banjo and his father was a preacher in the Hacklebarney section of Iowa, where the Gospel and music are a way of life. Brown's songwriting has been celebrated by many and his songs have been performed by Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson, Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. He has also recorded more than a dozen albums, including his 1986 release, “Songs of Innocence and of Experience,” when he put aside his own songwriting to set poems by William Blake to music. Brown has earned two Indie Awards from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD) and two Grammy nominations.

Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland and Mali Obomsawin are Lula Wiles. The trio came of age in the practice rooms of Boston’s Berklee College of Music and in the city’s lively roots scene. Their sophomore album “What Will We Do” reflects on the topics that “we are all staying up late thinking about and talking about over drinks at the dinner table,” says Obomsawin. On this new album the trio’s voices burn, twist, mingle and rise like smoke signaling changes to come, but the trio’s mastery of folk music and their willingness to subvert to its hallowed conventions provide an anchor. Lula Wiles brings new perspective to age-old traditions and above all the practice of sharing struggles through song. 

Si Kahn is a civil rights, union and community organizer, and musician. His songs of family, community, love, work and freedom have been recorded and performed by hundreds of artists around the world. They have been translated into at least half a dozen languages, including French, Welsh, Hebrew, Swedish, Drents (a Dutch dialect) and Plattdeutsch (“Low German”).  Such songs as “Aragon Mill (aka Belfast Mill, Oregon Mill, Weave and Spin, Douglas Mills),” “Gone Gonna Rise Again,” “Go to Work On Monday,” and “Rubber Blubber Whale” have become part of the oral tradition, and are sung in folk clubs and living rooms, at demonstrations and on picket lines around the world. Kahn has toured with Pete Seeger, Andy Irvine, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, and John McCutcheon, and has shared festival and workshop stages with artists ranging from Ani DiFranco to the Fairfield Four.  His musical body of work includes 16 albums of original songs; a CD of original songs for children, “Good Times and Bedtimes;” and a collection of traditional labor and civil rights songs recorded with Pete Seeger and Jane Sapp.

Sean McConnell’s latest recording, “Secondhand Smoke,” is his 13th album, and it is a cohesive collection of modern folk music. McConnell has a grassroots following now hundreds of thousands deep. Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Meat Loaf, Jake Owen, Brothers Osborne and more have all recorded his songs––a dizzying list that spans not just styles, but generations. McConnell earned his first No. 1 single on country charts in early 2018 with breakout artist Brett Young’s delivery of “Mercy,” which the two co-wrote. As a performer, Sean packs listening rooms and quiets unruly bar crowds. His sound––a warm tenor painting vivid stories over acoustic guitar often cushioned by keys or other strings––has prompted a diverse range of music scenes from the storied Boston folk community to Texas’s defiantly self-sovereign camp to warmly claim Sean as one of their own.

Sunday night’s show will be hosted by West Virginia native and Grammy Award-winner Kathy Mattea. A singer, musician, songwriter, public speaker and activist, Mattea’s music and message have taken her across America and overseas. Her music career spans 20-plus years and in recent years, she has found a growing audience for her words and ideas on a variety of issues, ranging from Arts education to global climate change. She is also deeply involved in social and environmental activism, believing that music can influence social change by giving a voice to the those who have none.

Mountain Stage with Larry Groce is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The live radio show is taped for air on more than 200 National Public Radio stations across America. WVU has been the show’s second home for the last decade.

Tickets, starting at $27, are on sale now. WVU Student tickets are $10 with valid WVU Student ID (limit one). The show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the Mountainlair and CAC box offices, online at, and by phone at 304-293-SHOW (7469) and 800-745-3000. 

The University Arts Series is produced by WVU Arts & Entertainment and presented by University Toyota with support from the Holiday Inn – University Area. Stay connected with the latest event updates through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @wvuevents.