Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Iris DeMent in Concert

Saturday, May 10, 7 p.m.
CALS Ron Robinson Theater
100 River Market Avenue
Tickets: $30

Iris DeMent, born in Paragould, Arkansas, and the last of 14 children, is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter country legend Merle Haggard calls "the best singer I’ve ever heard." Influenced by gospel and country music, DeMent released her first album in 1992 and earned a Grammy nomination for her second album, My Life, in 1994. Her work is known for addressing political and personal themes, and her songs have been covered by artists such as David Byrne, Natalie Merchant, and Merle Haggard.

DeMent’s newest album is Sing the Delta. She says of the Arkansas Delta "A lot of what I had stamped on me — musically, Sunday-dinner-wise, religion, and everything else — was a direct outgrowth of that." The album, described by Rolling Stone as a collection of "artisanal songs of love and doubt" and by the Boston Globe as "a work of rare, unvarnished grace and power," has received positive reviews since its release in 2012. Slant Magazine has stated, "DeMent’s fully invested performances are lived-in and soulful, heightening the intensity of the experiences she’s singing about. Over the course of Sing the Delta, DeMent confesses, wails, and testifies, and there’s simply no one else in popular music who tells their truths with such urgency or clarity."

DeMent will perform at the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Ron Robinson Theater on Saturday, May 10, at 7 p.m. The theater is accessible from the Main Library parking lot, 100 Rock Street. Tickets, which are general admission, may be purchased for $30 online or from Butler Center Galleries, 401 President Clinton Avenue. The galleries are open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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