Iris DeMent Biography
Iris DeMent is an American two-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter. DeMent’s musical style includes elements of folk, country, and gospel. She sang the Merle Haggard song “Big City” on Tulare Dust: A Songwriters’ Tribute to Merle Haggard. She has made frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s radio show A Prairie Home Companion. DeMent contributed harmony vocals to “Pallbearer”, a song from country artist Josh Turner’s 2012 album Punching Bag.
Iris DeMent Age
Iris DeMent is an American two-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter born on January 5, 1961, in Paragould, Arkansas, U.S. Iris DeMent is 58 years old as of 2019. DeMent was raised in a Pentecostal household. Her family moved from Arkansas to the Los Angeles area when she was three. While growing up, she was exposed to and influenced by country and gospel music.
Iris DeMent Family
Iris DeMent was born in Paragould, Arkansas to Pat DeMent (father) and Flora Mae (mother). Her father had married two wives. She is the youngest child of Pat DeMent second wife. She is also the 14th child to Pat DeMent’s first wife. Her family moved from Arkansas to the Los Angeles area when she was three. While growing up, she was exposed to and influenced by country and gospel music.
Iris DeMent Husband
Iris DeMent married American folk musician Greg Brown in 2002, Greg Brown is from Lowa, but they eventually divorced. She was engaged to another husband Greg Brown on November 21, 2002. The couples live in rural southeast Iowa with their adopted, Russian-born daughter.
Iris DeMent Singer and songwriter
DeMent was inspired to write her first song “Our Town” by a drive through a boarded-up Midwest town, at the age of 25. The song lyrics came to her “exactly as it is now”, without need for re-writing, and she realized then that songwriting was her calling in life.
“Our Town” was played during the closing scene for the final episode (July 26, 1995) of CBS’s television series Northern Exposure. The song has been recorded by Kate Brislin and Jody Stecher.
Her first album, Infamous Angel, was released in 1992 on the Rounder-Philo label and explored such themes as religious skepticism, small-town life, and human frailty. “Let the Mystery Be” has been covered by a number of artists, including 10,000 Maniacs and Alice Stuart, and was used in the opening scenes of the film Little Buddha.
In the fall of 2015, a version of “Let the Mystery Be” from the Transatlantic Sessions became the musical theme for the opening credits of the HBO series The Leftovers, replacing the original “Main Title Theme” composed by Max Richter, and it would once again serve as the opening theme for the series finale.
In her second album, My Life, released in 1994, she continued the personal and introspective approach. The record is dedicated to her father, who died two years earlier. My Life was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category.
DeMent’s third album, The Way I Should, was released in 1996. Featuring the protest song “Wasteland of the Free”, it is DeMent’s most political work. It covers topics such as sexual abuse, religion, government policy, and Vietnam.
DeMent sang the duet “Bell Bottomed Tear” as part of The Beautiful South’s Much Later with Jools live special in 1997. In 1998, the song “Iris” by the rock band Goo Goo Dolls was named after her.
Singer and songwriter John Rzeznik had already written the lyrics to the song but was having a problem naming it. He opened up the LA Weekly and noticed that DeMent was playing in town and thought her name was beautiful and then decided to name it after her.
She sang four duets with John Prine on his 1999 album In Spite of Ourselves, including the title track. She appeared in the 2000 film Songcatcher, playing the character Rose Gentry and singing on the soundtrack as well.
Her duet with Ralph Stanley on “Ridin’ That Midnight Train” was the opening track on his 2001 album, Clinch Mountain Sweethearts: Ralph Stanley & Friends. In 2004 she released Lifeline, an album of gospel songs.
It included 12 covers and one original composition (“He Reached Down”). It was the first album she released on Flariella Records, a label she started herself and named after her mother. A shortened version of her rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was later used in the closing credits of the Coen brothers’ film True Grit.
On October 2, 2012, DeMent released her first album of original songs in 16 years, Sing the Delta. DeMent has sung duets with Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris and is featured on the albums of many other performers.
She sang the Merle Haggard song “Big City” on Tulare Dust: A Songwriters’ Tribute to Merle Haggard. She has made frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s radio show A Prairie Home Companion. DeMent contributed harmony vocals to “Pallbearer”, a song from country artist Josh Turner’s 2012 album Punching Bag.
In 2015, DeMent released The Trackless Woods an album based upon and inspired by the words of Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova on her own Flariella record label. She reunited with John Prine in 2016 for his second duets album For Better, or Worse and performed on two tracks. DeMent will receive the Americana Trailblazer Award at the 2017 Americana Music Honors & Awards.
Iris DeMent Net worth
Iris DeMent is an American two-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter who has an estimated net worth of $ 14 million dollars as of 2019. She reunited with John Prine in 2016 for his second duets album For Better, or Worse and performed on two tracks.
Iris DeMent Songs
- The Night I Learned How Not to Pray
Sing the Delta · 2012
- You’ve Done Nothing Wrong
My Life · 1994
- God Walks The Dark Hills
Lifeline · 2004
- Childhood Memories 1994
- Pretty Saro
- Fifty Miles of Elbow Room 1992
- Sweet Forgiveness 1992
- Hotter Than Mojave in M… 1992
- I Never Shall Forget The… 2004
- Fill My Way With Love 2004
- Mom & Dad’s Waltz 1994
- Out of the Fire 2012
- When Love Was Young 1992
- I’ve Got That Old Time R… 2004
- Walki’n Home 1996
- That Glad Reunion 2004
- There’s a Wall in Washington
Iris DeMent Albums
- Wounded Heart Of Am.. 2007
- Crown Jewels 1998
- Live At The Freight & Sa.. 2017
- Live in Our town 2016
- Infamous Angel 1992
- My Life 1994
- Sing the Delta 2012 The Way I Should 1996
- Lifeline 2004
- Wounded Heart Of Am.. 2007
- The Trackless Woods 2015
- Bleecker Street Gree.. 1999
- I’m a Lonesome 1967
- Let The Mystery Be (Rem.. 2016)
Iris DeMent Tour
- Sat, Sep 21 8:00 PM Kent, OH
The Kent Stage
- Wed, Oct 2 7:00 PM Boston, MA
- Fri, Oct 4 7:30 PM Rockland, ME
The Strand Theatre
- Sat, Oct 5 8:00 PM Bethlehem, NH
The Colonial Theatre
- Sun, Nov 3 8:00 PM Omaha, NE
The Waiting Room Lounge
- Thu, Dec 12 7:30 PM Albuquerque, NM
South Broadway Cultural Center
- Fri, Feb 7 6:00 PM Sebastopol, CA
HopMonk Tavern Sebastopol
Iris DeMent Other contributions
- 1998: various artists – The Folkscene Collection: From the Heart of Studio A (Red House) – “Our Town” (live in KPFK Studios)
- 1998: various artists – Real: The Tom T. Hall Project (Sire) – track 8: I Miss a Lot of Trains
- 1999: various artists – Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village In The 60’s (Astor Place) – track 5: “Pack Up Your Sorrows” (with Loudon Wainwright III)
- 2001: various artists – Songcatcher: Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture (Vanguard) – track 2: “Pretty Saro”
- 2002: various artists – Going Driftless: An Artist’s Tribute to Greg Brown (Red House) – track 3: “The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home”
- 2002: various artists – WYEP Live & Direct: Volume 4 – On Air Performances
- 2007: various artists – Transatlantic Sessions 3 (Volume 1) (Whirlie) – track 12: “There’s a Whole Lot of Heaven”
Iris DeMent Composer
- 1998: The Caravans – Glamorous Heart Motel Blues (Fury) – track 1: “Our Town”
- 2000: Grace Griffith – Minstrel Song (Blix Street) – track 2: “My Life”
- 2001: Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio – Inland Empires (12XU) – track 3: “Calling For You”; track 7, “My Life”
- 2002: Aselin Debison – Sweet is the Melody (Odyssey Records) – track 1: “Sweet is the Melody”
- 2002: John Wright – Dangerous Times (Big Sky) – track 1: “When My Mornin’ Comes Around”
- 2007: Doug Cox – Canadian Borderline (Malahat Mountain) – track 2: “Let The Mystery Be”
- 2012: Megan Reilly – The Well (Carrot Top) – track 8: “After You’re Gone”
- 2017: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Best Troubador (Domino) – track 18: “No Time To Cry”
Iris DeMent Appearance
- 1999: Steve Earle and The Del McCoury Band – The Mountain (E-Squared) – track 4: “I’m Still in Love with You” (duet with Steve Earle)
- 2001: Delbert McClinton – Nothing Personal (New West Records) – “Birmingham Tonight” (harmony vocal)
- 2001: Keith Sykes – Don’t Count Us Out (Syren Records) – “It’s Just You”; “Lavender Blue” (duets)
- 2001: Ralph Stanley and Friends – Clinch Mountain Sweethearts (Rebel) – track 1: “Ridin’ That Midnight Train”; track 11: “Trust Each Other” (duets)
- 2002: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume III (Capitol) – track 1-05, “Mama’s Opry” (lead vocal)
- 2007: Teddy Thompson – Upfront & Down Low (Verve Forecast) – track 6: “My Heart Echoes”
- 2010: John Prine – In Person & On Stage (Oh Boy) – track 3: “In Spite of Ourselves”; track 12: “Unwed Fathers” (duets, live)
- 2012: Josh Turner – Punching Bag (MCA Nashville) – track 9: “Pallbearer” (background vocals)
- 2016: The Pines – Above the Prairie (Red House) – unknown track
- 2016: John Prine – For Better, or Worse (Oh Boy) – track 1: “Who’s Gonna Take the Garbage Out”; track 13: “Mr. & Mrs. Used to Be”
Iris DeMent and John Prine
For the official video for “In Spite Of Ourselves,” John Prine and Iris DeMent called upon fans to submit photos of their “big door prize,” a reference to the song’s sweet, humorous lyrics. The pair unveiled the new video on May 1, 2017.
The clip shows Prine at an old-school computer, scrolling through photos of smiling couples and adding his own artistic touches. The imagery goes hand-in-hand with the lyrics of this incarnation of “In Spite Of Ourselves.”
Pulled from Prine’s 1999 album of the same name, the song is reminiscent of those on his 2016 release For Better, Or Worse that see the legendary songwriter trading verses with a number of country and Americana’s brightest female artists. On that collection, DeMent features on “Who’s Gonna Take The Garbage Out.”
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