CAMDEN -- Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Iris DeMent and her band will help ring in 120 music and culture filled years, Friday, Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Camden Opera House. Songs will be featured from her new album, Sing the Delta, as well as favorites from years past.
Merle Haggard says "She's simply the best singer I' ve ever heard". DeMent is the last of 14 children born in Arkansas and raised in Southern California. She grew up immersed in gospel and traditional country music. She didn't write her first song till she was 25, but when she did, she said it was like someone walked into the room and said "there you have it, Iris" – I knew then and there that I had gotten my calling. It became my life's work. The "knowing" has never left me since that day."
Her first release, Infamous Angel, initially issued on Rounder in 1992 before being picked up by Warner Brothers, immediately established her as a promising and talented artist. Its 1994 follow-up, My Life, earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category. Her 1996 album The Way I Should addressed political as well as personal themes and also earned a Grammy nomination.
Along the way, several of DeMent's songs became cultural touchstones. Let The Mystery Be found its way to MTV Unplugged as a duet by David Byrne and Natalie Merchant. Our Town was played over the farewell scene in the series finale of Northern Exposure. Merle Haggard, who said of DeMent, "She's the best singer I've ever heard," invited her to sit in as his piano player touring with his legendary band The Strangers. He subsequently covered two of her songs No Time To Cry and the gospel-tinged The Shores of Jordan.
General admission tickets $28 in advance; $32 at the door are available at the Camden Town Office Monday – Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m, by calling (207) 470-7066, or online at www.camdenoperahouse.com.