Iris DeMent with special guest Ana Egge
Under 21 with Guardian
With an inimitable voice as John Prine described, “like you’ve heard, but not really,” and unforgettable melodies rooted in hymns, gospel, and old country music, Iris DeMent is simply one of the finest singer-songwriters in America today. Her debut record Infamous Angel, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary, was recently named one of the “greatest country albums of all time” by Rolling Stone, and her two albums that followed, My Life and The Way I Should, each garnered GRAMMY nominations in the Contemporary Folk category. Seeking more independence as an artist, DeMent went on to establish her own record label in 2004, and released a series of critically acclaimed albums beginning with 2004’s Lifeline, which she describes as “a bunch of old church songs I grew up singing and still love.” Her return in 2012 with Sing The Delta prompted NPR to call her “one of the great voices in popular contemporary music.” The Boston Globe hailed the collection as “a work of rare, unvarnished grace and power.” Taking a surprising detour in 2015 with The Trackless Woods, DeMent set poems by the late Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to music—a record described by The Guardian as “a quietly powerful triumph.” With songs featured in film and television and recorded by numerous artists, there’s no getting around that the music is in DeMent, and thirty years after her debut, she’s still creating some of the most poignant music of her career, bridging seemingly disparate worlds with every note.