Iris DeMent’s Superb Music

For a long time, I’ve been a fan of Iris DeMent’s music. A few months ago, while running errands in Kansas City, I was reminded of what a great musician she is. The community radio station KKFI featured her, and I was glad to hear she was coming out with a new album: Workin’ on a World. Ann Powers of NPR describes the album as one that “responds to the sociopolitical challenges that have risen up in the past few years.”

Iris DeMent was born in Arkansas, the youngest of fourteen children. After a long, unsuccessful strike by his company, her father found work in California and moved the family there. They attended a Pentecostal church and, according to DeMent, kept their Arkansas culture pretty much intact. DeMent’s piano playing demonstrates that. It comes straight out of the Pentecostal tradition, and her unique style of singing hearkens back to the early European settlers of Arkansas.

DeMent now lives in Iowa City, Iowa, with her husband, musician Greg Brown. Here is an article written by Clay Masters and Cheryl Corley posted on NPR: “Folk veteran Iris DeMent shows us the ‘World’ she’s been workin’ on.”  It includes an interview with DeMent as well as some of her music. Don’t miss the #Now Playing: Iris Dement, ‘Workin’ on a World’ link in the article. You can read the article by Ann Powers and listen to that song there.

I hope you enjoy DeMent’s music as much as I do.

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