A remarkable evening with Iris. Thanks to Alex Long and Rodney Bursiel for these terrific photos.
A true living treasure of country-folk music, Iris DeMent enthralls audiences with the lyrical beauty of her songcraft and the unflinching intimacy of her performances. Iris' voice is instantly recognizable, with a spare, timeless quality that echoes her native Arkansas hills, complementing the honest wisdom of her songs about family, forgiveness, and other real-life mysteries.
Her first album, Infamous Angel, was released in 1992 and explored themes of religious skepticism, small town life, fleeting things, and forgiving human frailty. Her song "Let the Mystery Be" from that album has been covered by a number of artists, including 10,000 Maniacs. Her second album, My Life, was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category. DeMent's third album, The Way I Should, released in 1996, covers topics like sexual abuse, religion, government policy, and Vietnam. After a hiatus during the late 1990s and early 2000s, she released her fourth album, Lifeline, in 2004.
DeMent has sung duets with John Prine (on In Spite of Ourselves), Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris and is featured on the albums of many other performers. She has made frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, and appeared in the 2000 film Songcatcher, playing the character Rose Gentry and singing on the soundtrack as well.