Iris DeMent All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Sold Out (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Jan. 7, 8 p.m. 2012

I'd be hard-pressed to find a modern folksinger better or more distinctive than Iris DeMent. Whenever I hear her voice—a mix of high lonesome and old-time soul with a honeyed finish—I always drop whatever I'm doing just to bask in its peculiar beauty. Plus she's a brilliant songwriter to boot. There's just one problem with being a DeMent fan: she hardly ever makes records. Her most recent album is the superb 2004 gospel effort Lifeline, which contains only one original tune and came out some eight years after its predecessor, The Way I Should. DeMent still makes appearances on other people's records, and recently sang in two remarkable duets on John Prine's 2010 live album, In Person & On Stage (Oh Boy), demonstrating her undiminished strength as a performer. That's where DeMent is at her best—in front of a crowd, telling stories and projecting her magical, magnetic voice. As much as I hope to finally hear a fifth solo album from her, opportunities to see her live are more frequent and in some ways an even bigger treat. —Peter Margasak

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