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Iris DeMent


Artists like Iris DeMent aren't supposed to exist anymore in this cynical world. Singing unironically about family, forgiveness, and other real-life mysteries, DeMent has established herself as a straightforward singer/songwriter with the ability to touch the heart and soul of an audience. Her songs, performed on piano and guitar, are punctuated by humorous anecdotes which intensify an audience's vulnerability to the gripping message of those songs. You might say that DeMent came by her lonesome-country-gospel sound naturally. She was born in Arkansas, but when she was just 3, her family moved to California after their farm failed. But her Pentecostal parents were steeped in the country, gospel and folk music of the South, so at times it seems that DeMent?s heart-rending vocals seem like they almost stem from ancestral memory. And her songs overflow with the yearning and hopefulness of the gospel hymns she sang as a child. DeMent has confirmed that, when she was growing up, "I was around singers: my parents, their friends, my family members - who would dig down, and go as far down as you can, and let it all come out ? and my mother was one of those kinds of singers." (and so is Iris) She sings about life's inescapable beginnings and endings: its meaning, our social fabric and our shortcomings. Her albums, marked by great songwriting, honest presentation and resonant vocals, have received wide critical acclaim. Iris has toured extensively in the United States and Europe to enthusiastic receptions. She has appeared in support of John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Tom Petty. Her television and radio appearances include The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Conan O'Brien Show, Austin City Limits and A Prairie Home Companion. Don't miss Iris. She is a brilliant songwriter and heart-piercing singer

Performing Arts Type

  • Music