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April 16, 2021 at 12:30 am
Iris DeMent is an acclaimed singer/songwriter whose 1992 debut Infamous Angel was hailed by Rolling Stone as “an essential album of the 90’s”. Combining elements of folk, gospel and country, her rich lyrical landscapes and captivating music have earned two Grammy nominations and the respect of many of her peers such as John Prine, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. NPR has called her “one of the great voices in contemporary popular music” and The Boston Globe heralded her 2012 album Sing The Delta to be a “work of rare, unvarnished grace and power…”.
The press on her current release says it all – “It’s heady, heart-stopping stuff.” – Boston Globe – “As pure and piercing as they come.” – No Depression “Iris DeMent makes music that celebrates humanity’s efforts toward salvation, while acknowledging that most of our time on Earth is spent reconciling with the fact that we don’t feel so redeemed.” – NPR Music
Opening Artist: Ana Egge
What’s most immediately striking about Ana Egge’s latest, Is It the Kiss, is its rich sonic coherence. Ana’s at the center, but the term singer/songwriter doesn’t cover it. This is much more than words and tunes — the whole is informed by her deeply-rooted musical intelligence. It’s only because she defies category that she usually winds up in the folk bin, but from the beginning she’s been inspired by the raunchy warmth and laid-back intensity of singers such as Etta James and Ann Peebles, while emulating the strangely sturdy crystalline quality, real and true, of Dolly Parton. As a guitarist, early on, Ana dug into the picking patterns and driving right hand of Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, and Elizabeth Cotten, while also absorbing the swinging, behind-the-beat phrasing of Django Reinhardt. The country side of things is well represented on the album by pedal steel (Matt Davidson) and fiddle (Alex Hargreaves) and by the songs “Cocaine Cowboys” and her affecting duet with Iris Dement on a cover of Diana Jones’ “Ballad of the Poor Child.”