About Iris Dement
One of the most celebrated country-folk performers of her day, singer/songwriter Iris Dement was born on January 5, 1961, in rural Paragould, AR, the youngest of 14 children. At the age of three, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music; during her teenaged years, however, she was first exposed to country, folk, and R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. Upon graduating high school, she relocated to Kansas City to attend college.
After a series of jobs waitressing and typing, Dement first began composing songs at the age of 25. Honing her skills at open-mic nights, in 1988 she moved to Nashville, where she contacted producer Jim Rooney, who helped her land a record contract. Dement did not make her recording debut until 1992, when her independent label offering, Infamous Angel, won almost universal acclaim thanks to her pure, evocative vocal style and spare, heartfelt songcraft. Despite a complete lack of support from country radio, the record’s word-of-mouth praise earned her a deal with Warner Bros., which reissued Infamous Angel in 1993 as well as its follow-up, 1994’s stunning My Life. Her third LP, 1996’s eclectic The Way I Should, marked a dramatic change not only in its more rock-influenced sound but also in its subject matter; where Dement’s prior work was introspective and deeply personal, The Way I Should was fiercely political, tackling topics like sexual abuse, religion, government policy, and Vietnam. In 1999, she collaborated with country man John Prine on his album, In Spite of Ourselves. Dement recorded four duets with Prine that earned her a Grammy nod the following year.
Brandi Carlile’s third of six 2020 Ryman Auditorium concerts featured guest appearances from The War & Treaty and Sheryl Crow.
Dark Star Orchestra recreated two classic Grateful Dead shows and played a pair of elective concerts as part of their Jam In The Sand 2020 destination event in Mexico last week.
Mike Gordon dusted off “Soulfood Man” for the first time since 2017 and just second time since 2014 as part of his band’s Sunday night show at Mr. Small’s in Pittsburgh.
Wilco loaded their setlist with bust outs and rarities on Sunday at their Sky Blue Sky destination event in Mexico.
Dead & Company focused on Jerry songs over the course of Sunday’s matinee at Playing In The Sand in Mexico.