It's often said that the best source material for songs comes from your life – your friends, your family and every day occurrences. And if that's the case, Iris DeMent won't run out of things to write about any time soon.
DeMent, the youngest of 14 children, was born in Arkansas, raised in California and grew up immersed in gospel and traditional country music. Though she didn't write her first song until age 25, her first release, "Infamous Angel," established her as a blooming tour de force in the industry. Her sophomore follow-up, "My Life," earned a Grammy nomination, as did her 1996 album, "The Way I Should."
Is there anything left to accomplish when a legend like Merle Haggard calls you, "The best singer I've ever heard"? There was for DeMent, whose songs like "Let The Mystery Be" and "Our Town" became ingrained in American culture, she simply kept plugging away. In 2004, she recorded an album of gospel songs called "Lifeline." Another highlight came six years later, when the Coen Brothers chose a song from that album, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," for the closing credits of a remake of the classic western "True Grit."
On October 2, 2012, DeMent released her first album of original songs in 16 years, "Sing the Delta." It was recorded in Nashville, with an all-star supporting cast that included Bryan Owings on drums, Dave Jacques on bass, Al Perkins on pedal steel and Reese Wynana on B3 organ. Jim Hoke and Steve Herman also sat in as horn players. The project, of course, was heralded by fans and critics alike.
DeCant will soon set off on a December tour of New Zealand and Australia. She'll return stateside in the new year, and has dates booked through May 2014.
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Past 12 Months
date city state venue 1/16/2015 Columbus OH Shedd Theatre 1/17/2015 Bloomington IN Buskirk-Chumley Theater 1/23/2015 Ponte Vedra Beach FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall 1/24/2015 Orlando FL Plaza Theatre 1/25/2015 Clearwater FL Capitol Theatre 2/27/2015 Toronto ON Hugh's Room 2/28/2015 Toronto ON Hugh's Room 3/5/2015 Cincinnati OH 20th Century Theater 3/6/2015 Louisville KY KCD Theater 3/7/2015 Bowling Green KY The Warehouse 3/26/2015 Seattle WA Triple Door 3/27/2015 Portland OR Aladdin Theater 3/29/2015 Eugene OR Cozmic 4/10/2015 East Aurora NY 189 Public House 4/11/2015 Ithaca NY Hangar Theatre 5/15/2015 Alexandria VA Birchmere Music Hall 5/22/2015 Hindmarsh SA The Gov
date city state venue 1/10/2014 Knoxville TN Bijou Theatre 1/12/2014 Decatur GA Eddie's Attic 2/14/2014 Austin TX Cactus Cafe 2/15/2014 Dallas TX The Kessler Theater 2/16/2014 Austin TX Cactus Cafe 3/14/2014 Chicago IL Orchestra Hall 3/28/2014 South Orange NJ South Orange Performing Arts Center 3/29/2014 Tarrytown NY Tarrytown Music Hall 4/4/2014 Fargo ND Fargo Theatre 4/10/2014 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage 4/11/2014 Alexandria VA Birchmere Music Hall 4/12/2014 Wilmington DE World Cafe Live at the Queen 5/8/2014 Nashville TN 3rd & Lindsley 5/9/2014 Memphis TN Buckman Performing Arts Center 5/10/2014 Little Rock AR CALS Ron Robinson Theater 5/15/2014 State College PA The State Theatre 5/16/2014 Sellersville PA Sellersville Theater 5/17/2014 Port Washington NY The Landmark 5/18/2014 Beacon NY Towne Crier Cafe 6/27/2014 Des Moines IA Western Gateway Park 7/4/2014 Saint Paul MN Macalester College 7/5/2014 Saint Paul MN Macalester College 7/6/2014 Stoughton WI Stoughton Opera House 7/10/2014 Athens GA The Melting Point 7/11/2014 Asheville NC The Grey Eagle 7/12/2014 Raleigh NC North Carolina Museum of Art 7/18/2014 Denver CO Daniels Hall 7/19/2014 Boulder CO Chautauqua Auditorium 7/30/2014 Portsmouth NH Prescott Park 7/31/2014 Brownfield ME Stone Mountain Arts Center 8/1/2014 Camden ME Camden Opera House 8/2/2014 Shirley MA Bull Run Restaurant 8/3/2014 White River Junction VT Tupelo Music Hall 9/20/2014 Ann Arbor MI The Ark 9/21/2014 Chicago IL City Winery - Chicago 10/23/2014 Nevada City CA Miners Foundry Cultural Center 10/24/2014 Berkeley CA Freight & Salvage 10/25/2014 Napa CA City Winery - Napa
date city state venue 1/18/2013 Cambridge MA The Sinclair 1/19/2013 Northampton MA Iron Horse Music Hall 1/21/2013 Alexandria VA Birchmere Music Hall 1/22/2013 Wilmington DE World Cafe Live at the Queen 2/7/2013 Louisville KY Clifton Center 2/8/2013 Bloomington IN Buskirk-Chumley Theater 2/15/2013 Des Moines IA Wooly's 3/21/2013 Grants Pass OR Rogue Theatre 3/22/2013 Portland OR Aladdin Theater 3/23/2013 Seattle WA Triple Door 3/25/2013 Seattle WA Triple Door 3/29/2013 Athens GA The Melting Point 4/5/2013 Stoughton WI Stoughton Opera House 4/6/2013 Minneapolis MN Cedar Cultural Center 4/7/2013 Saint Cloud MN Pioneer Place On Fifth 4/18/2013 Ephrata PA Ephrata Main Theater 4/19/2013 Montclair NJ Outpost in the Burbs at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation 5/2/2013 Carrboro NC The ArtsCenter 5/3/2013 Atlanta GA Variety Playhouse 5/12/2013 Norfolk CT Infinity Hall 5/30/2013 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage 5/31/2013 Vienna VA Jammin Java 6/20/2013 Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre 6/21/2013 Phoenix AZ Musical Instrument Museum 6/22/2013 Los Angeles CA First Unitarian Church - Los Angeles 6/23/2013 Solana Beach CA Belly Up Tavern 6/26/2013 Sacramento CA Assembly Sacramento 6/28/2013 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall 6/29/2013 Mill Valley CA Sweetwater Music Hall 6/30/2013 Laytonville CA Black Oak Ranch 7/25/2013 New York NY City Winery 7/26/2013 East Meredith NY West Kortright Centre 7/26/2013 Newport RI Fort Adams State Park 7/26/2013 Newport RI Fort Adams State Park 7/27/2013 Newport RI Fort Adams State Park 7/28/2013 Truro MA Payomet Performing Arts Center 8/7/2013 Londonderry Dry Millennium Forum 8/8/2013 Dublin D National Concert Hall 8/11/2013 Oslo 03 Kulturkirken Jakob 9/20/2013 Bristol TN Downtown Bristol 10/18/2013 Springfield IL Sangamon Auditorium 10/25/2013 Evanston IL SPACE 10/26/2013 Bloomington IL Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts 11/9/2013 Madison WI Overture Hall 11/21/2013 Columbia MO Rose Music Hall 11/22/2013 Saint Louis MO Sheldon Concert Hall 11/23/2013 Kansas City MO Knuckleheads Saloon 12/6/2013 Meeniyan Vic Meeniyan Hall
date city state venue 1/28/2012 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage 8/11/2012 Nashville TN Grand Ole Opry House 8/11/2012 Nashville TN Grand Ole Opry House 9/1/2012 Boothbay Harbor ME Boothbay Harbor 10/20/2012 Toronto ON Hugh's Room 10/21/2012 Toronto ON Hugh's Room 11/8/2012 Londonderry NH Tupelo Music Hall 11/9/2012 Middlebury VT After Dark Music Series 11/10/2012 Fall River MA Narrows Center for the Arts 11/15/2012 Cincinnati OH 20th Century Theater 11/16/2012 Nelsonville OH Stuart's Opera House 11/17/2012 Ann Arbor MI The Ark 11/29/2012 Petaluma CA Mystic Theatre 11/30/2012 Berkeley CA Freight & Salvage 12/1/2012 Nevada City CA Miners Foundry Cultural Center 12/7/2012 Ponte Vedra Beach FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall 12/8/2012 Orlando FL Plaza Theatre 12/9/2012 Clearwater FL Capitol Theatre 12/15/2012 New York NY Town Hall
date city state venue 3/11/2011 Portland OR Aladdin Theater 3/12/2011 Seattle WA Triple Door 8/6/2011 Evanston IL SPACE
date city state venue 6/4/2010 Evanston IL SPACE 6/5/2010 Bloomington IN Bluebird Nightclub 7/23/2010 Berkeley CA Freight & Salvage 7/24/2010 Petaluma CA Mystic Theatre 8/21/2010 New York NY B.B. King Blues Club & Grill