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Review: Iris DeMent

DigiTrad:
I'LL TAKE MY SORROW STRAIGHT


Related threads:
Lyr Add: When My Morning Comes Around (DeMent) (7)
Chords Req: Letter to Mom (Iris DeMent) (2)
Free preview of new Iris DeMent album (12)
Iris DeMent (36)
Lyr Req: Easy's Getting Harder Every Day (DeMent) (3)
Lyr Add: The Shores of Jordan (Iris DeMent) (4)
Chords: Let The Mystery Be (Iris DeMent) (4)
Iris DeMent's birthday (5 January 1961) (5)
Chord Req: Hotter than Mojave in My Heart (DeMent) (2)
Lyr Req: Sweet Is the Melody (Iris DeMent) (10)
Lyr Req: Our Town (Iris DeMent) (12)
Lyr Req: Our Town (Iris DeMent) (7)


Brian May 19 Apr 20 - 02:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Apr 20 - 04:33 PM
Thompson 17 Mar 16 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Oz Childs 31 Jan 16 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Don Meixner 10 Jun 09 - 11:27 PM
michaelr 10 Jun 09 - 09:29 PM
Ron Davies 07 Jun 09 - 07:26 PM
Ron Davies 07 Jun 09 - 07:24 PM
Ron Davies 07 Jun 09 - 07:18 PM
RobbieWilson 07 Jun 09 - 07:17 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Jun 09 - 07:10 PM
michaelr 07 Jun 09 - 02:46 PM
VirginiaTam 07 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM
Abdul The Bul Bul 07 Jun 09 - 01:57 PM
topical tom 07 Jun 09 - 12:14 PM
catspaw49 07 Jun 09 - 12:10 PM
VirginiaTam 07 Jun 09 - 10:47 AM
Ron Davies 06 Jun 09 - 10:24 AM
NormanD 06 Jun 09 - 07:07 AM
GUEST 06 Jun 09 - 06:46 AM
open mike 06 Jun 09 - 03:46 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Jun 09 - 03:25 AM
open mike 06 Jun 09 - 03:20 AM
Murray MacLeod 06 Jun 09 - 03:06 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 06 Jun 09 - 01:32 AM
Don Firth 05 Jun 09 - 08:59 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 05 Jun 09 - 08:23 PM
open mike 05 Jun 09 - 08:07 PM
John MacKenzie 23 Sep 05 - 04:35 AM
akenaton 23 Sep 05 - 04:05 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Sep 05 - 02:17 AM
Matt_R 22 Sep 05 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Arkie 22 Sep 05 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,bflat 21 Sep 05 - 04:58 PM
wysiwyg 21 Sep 05 - 04:42 PM
Kim C 21 Sep 05 - 12:51 PM
akenaton 21 Sep 05 - 12:39 PM
Chris in Wheaton 21 Sep 05 - 11:26 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Sep 05 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 05 - 10:48 AM
Paco Rabanne 21 Sep 05 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,DB 21 Sep 05 - 09:43 AM
kendall 21 Sep 05 - 09:22 AM
Dave Hanson 21 Sep 05 - 09:02 AM
Beer 21 Sep 05 - 08:14 AM
John MacKenzie 21 Sep 05 - 05:58 AM
akenaton 21 Sep 05 - 05:39 AM
mooman 21 Sep 05 - 05:28 AM
open mike 21 Sep 05 - 02:23 AM
Arkie 21 Sep 05 - 12:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Review: Iris DeMent
From: Brian May
Date: 19 Apr 20 - 02:59 PM

The (very talented) lady with a voice provided by Marmite . . .


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris DeMent
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 04:33 PM

Today on Fresh Air they're playing a 2015 interview with Iris DeMent.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Thompson
Date: 17 Mar 16 - 01:14 PM

Another version by Iris Dement of Wasteland of the Free; stirring stuff.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 31 Jan 16 - 10:44 AM

I've been hooked by "Sweet is the Melody" recently. I think she has written the words that should appear on her gravestone:

'So hard to make every note bend just right.'


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:27 PM

Aye Robbie.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 09:29 PM

Thanks, Murray -- my hunch has been proved! (shudder)


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:26 PM

That might be a topic for a thread--if it hasn't been done already.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:24 PM

It's true--some of the best songs are both personal and universal at the same time--and that's what Iris has done in "Our Town".


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Ron Davies
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:18 PM

Amen, Robbie.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:17 PM

I first heard Our Town sung by Kate Rusby at some festival or other and was sure it must have been about small town England. A couple of years heard ID herself sing it and saw small town America. I sing it in my best Glasgow gutteral and it is about the town of Barrhead where I grew up. I have walked down Main St in the cold morning mist.

It never fails to amaze me when a great songfits so personally to such diverse people; hoow something so personal can be so universal. Don't fixate on the voice, hear the song. Sing it. Make it yours


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 07:10 PM

Iris Dement and Jimmie Gilmore in a duet

amateur video, but interesting ...


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: michaelr
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:46 PM

"Wasteland of the Free" is a great song, but I still can't stand her voice.

Iris Dement and Jimmie Dale Gilmore would fit together superbly in a duet!


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM

Hi Al. How is Dubai? Yes I am learning Let the Mystery Be on Odetta. (For any confused, guitar is a Sigma DM4M, so named because she is big, dark and loud. She used to belong to Al.)

Maybe able to do it by Knockholt. Hell maybe even by
Essex Girl's bbq next weekend.

I liked Our Town when I heard Kate Rusby do it. Now having heard it done by the songwriter Iris, I think Iris' so much more bittersweet.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Abdul The Bul Bul
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:57 PM

Well, I heard Iris do Our Town on some radio prog or other and fell in love with it before it had finished. Beautiful. Learned it straight away and sing it a few times a week, unfortunately now I'm 'overseas, it's to myself but I still love it. Watching Iris on the Transatlantic Sessions and youtube is a lesson in what happens when you are absolutely 'in' the song. Wonderful singer, wonderful songs and I can't wait till i get back to Stoke to hear VT and Odetta doing Let the mystery be ...was it VT?

Al


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: topical tom
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:14 PM

I really like the unique voice and style of Iris Dement. Her duets with John Prine are great! She is a truly good singer of harmony.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 12:10 PM

We had some other thread about her too or maybe it was a YouTube thread because I remember linking "In Spite of Ourselved" a long time ago.

Anyway, nothing has changed my mind since this thread first ran.....I still enjoy her.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 10:47 AM

Thanks for reopening the thread openmike -

Putting in my vote in favour of her purportedly nasal presentation. That nasal "twang" was something I violently disliked as a teen when I was forced to watch the Porter Wagoner Show and Hee Haw. Oddly, my Gammy neither sang nore spoke with a pronounced West Virginia accent, though maybe it is because she moved from WVa when she was 15.

In fact most of my family had kind of no accent compared to others in south east Virginia. Something I never noticed until New York and California frinds of my older brother commented upon it. Wonder what that was about?

Anyway - back to Iris Dement. Love her voice and some of the songs she sings.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 10:24 AM

I used to not like her voice.   But I'd have to say it's just perfect for "Let the Mystery Be", one of her strongest songs--along with "Our Town". A really warm cozy version on YouTube.   And with John Prine it's just a wonderful match--channeling the good old country duets like Loretta and Conway.    You can't get any better than John and Iris on "In Spite of Ourselves". And "Invite Them Over" is another charmer.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: NormanD
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 07:07 AM

I'm not being snobby here because of its limited availability, but one of my favourite songs she does is "God May Forgive You (But I Won't)". It came as a second track to the CD single of "Our Town", and isn't on any album.

The song - to my surprise - was written by Harlan Howard and is a great attack on a philandering husband who's become born-again.

Does anyone know why Iris records so infrequently? Her last CD was of gospel songs, with none of her own compositions.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 06:46 AM

The voice is OK for about one song - after that the continual "breaking" and high pitched "little girl" tone does my head in. It's a caricature of a country singer.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WASTELAND OF THE FREE (Iris DeMent)
From: open mike
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:46 AM

here is here most poignant, scathing song...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86VHcV5Pa5c


WASTELAND OF THE FREE
(Iris Dement)
As recorded by Iris DeMent on "The Way I Should" (1996)

We got preachers dealing in politics and diamond mines
And their speech is growing increasingly unkind
They say they are Christ's disciples but they don't look like Jesus to me
And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don't tell me they don't turn around and kiss them peoples' ass
You may call me old-fashioned but that don't fit my picture of a true democracy
And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got CEO's making two hundred times the workers' pay
But they'll fight like hell against raising the minimum wage
And If you don't like it, mister, they'll ship your job to some third-world country 'cross the sea
And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Living in the wasteland of the free
Where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

We got little kids with guns fighting inner city wars
So what do we do, we put these little kids behind prison doors
And we call ourselves the advanced civilization; that sounds like crap to me
And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We got high-school kids running 'round in Calvin Klein and Guess
Who cannot pass a sixth-grade reading test
But if you ask them, they can tell you the name of every crotch on MTV
And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

We kill for oil, then we throw a party when we win
Some guy refuses to fight, and we call that the sin
But he's standing up for what he believes in and that seems pretty damned American to me
And it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free

Living in the wasteland of the free
Where the poor have now become the enemy
Let's blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

While we sit gloating in our greatness
Justice is sinking to the bottom of the sea
Living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free


she also has a wonderful song for Veteran's Day..
There's a Wall in Washington..


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:25 AM

Iris is divine. As a life long fan of Leonard Cohen, if you play a CD by Iris after one of Leonard's, you wonder what all the fuss is about! She sings and plays it straight, almost from a housewife's point of view.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: open mike
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:20 AM

thanks to a mud elf for combining these threads.
i was posting about her in the songcathcer thread
and though she deserved her own thread...sorry i
forgot to search first


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:06 AM

That is a great song Don, these two are great together.

This is an absolutely superb solo performance of Iris Dement singing "Our Town".

There are others on Youtube including one from the Transatlantic Sessions where she duets with Emmylou, but imo this one is the best.

Interestingly, comments have been disabled for this video, and reading through this thread I can well understand why.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 01:32 AM

I still like her just fine. Especially in duet with Tom Russell and Ton Paxton.

Don


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:59 PM

Uh . . . yeah, I mention the last episode of "Northern Exposure" up-thread a way. Actually, that was the first time I heard Iris Dement.

I get the damndest kick out of this:   CLICKY.   Hearing those words coming out of that sweet little face!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:23 PM

My favorite Iris Dement songs are "Sweet is the Melody", "Infamous Angel" and her duets w/ John Prine. Haven't heard much of her lately, but there is a current TV commercial on which the singer could be she. Don't recall, though, what it's for...but the voice is great.

Also, I just peeked, and note she'll he in SoCal beginning 25 Sept.

Thanks for noting her, open mike.


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Subject: Iris Dement
From: open mike
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:07 PM

IRIS Dement is a singer/songwriter from Kansas City
(Kansas or Missouri).
She married Greg Brown in Nov. 2002. http://www.gregbrown.org/

She played the character Rose Gentry in the movie Songcatcher.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_DeMent

"Her song "Let the Mystery Be" from that album has been covered by a number of artists....and has become one of DeMent's better known compositions."

"In 1995, her song "Our Town" was played in the closing moments of the last episode for the popular CBS TV series Northern Exposure, gaining DeMent more fans."

http://www.irisdement.com/biography.html


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 04:35 AM

Always thought Karen Carpenter sounded a lot like Anne Murray [Snow Goose] myself EtR, although I too love her singing.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 04:05 AM

I like Iris's voice very much.

But surely to folkies , the voice comes a distant second to the story?
Iris Dements songs are full of sharp observation about life and love. As someone writing about the emotions of women and their role as mothers, daughters and wives, she's unbeatable....Ake


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 02:17 AM

Chris in Wheaton, I'm sorry but Iris is not in the same league as Buffy St Marie, along with Karen Carpenter the two most powerful and unique voices in music.

eric


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Matt_R
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 10:34 PM

Good songwriter, horrific voice


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 03:09 PM

I hope there are no rules against this but I am posting below the review of the Mountain View concert that appeared in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

REVIEW Music : DeMent gives crowd a warm, witty show
BY JACK W. HILL
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2005

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent opened her concert at the Ozark Folk Center on Saturday night with an appropriate song, "These Hills," sounding just as much at home here in these Ozark hills as the late Jimmie Driftwood always did.

Indeed, DeMent said more of her life in her songs and in her between-songs musings than most performers reveal in decades of work, and she has been writing and singing for only 13 years and four albums. Born a little more than 100 miles away in Paragould, DeMent seemed to warm to the circular Folk Center auditorium and its fine acoustics and the several hundred fans in attendance, who filled the place to about twothirds its capacity.

Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and the upright piano she moved to for the middle part of her set, DeMent went against convention by doing only two songs from her current CD, Lifeline, the well known hymn, "Blessed Assurance" and her own composition, "He Reached Down." Her set included three songs from each of her first three CDs, however, along with a heart-wrenching version of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone," and a showending singalong of the Carter Family's theme song, "Keep on the Sunny Side."

The 17-song set also included a gospel song that her father and his brothers used to do, plus three new songs that proved the creative well has not run dry for this singer with the appealing dry wit. The first one, she said, was about her 87-year old mother, and the song's "non-Hallmark card" sentiments were inspired by how her mother "was always telling her truth... and there was no back burner on that stove."

Another winning new song concerned her conclusions reached after years of reading self-help books, "tryin' to unravel myself," but realizing, at long last, "I been livin' on the inside too much" and that "pullin' weeds works just as well."

Of her low-key marriage to fellow singer-songwriter Greg Brown, DeMent seemed almost giddy to be able to reveal that she had gone and gotten married again a few years ago, and that she had been inspired to write an anniversary song after looking out her window on a cold December day, watching Brown burn the trash and that "I'm thinkin' this love's gonna last."

And though DeMent played for only an hour and 35 minutes, the depth of her revealed sentiments and feelings — conveyed via a voice that's so strong, yet so vulnerable — were such that I doubt that anyone left feeling cheated of some serious substance. DeMent certainly ranks up there with our other nativeborn musical greats, including Cash, Driftwood, Levon Helm and Louis Jordan.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST,bflat
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 04:58 PM

Three years ago I posted to this thread and I haven't changed by opinion at all. She is very special. Love her.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 04:42 PM

Giok, yes, it is "Higher Ground."

~S~


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Kim C
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 12:51 PM

I know why people like her, but I can't stand the sound of her voice. One song is about all I can handle.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 12:39 PM

just got a CD of old time gospel music by Iris Dement called "lifeline".


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 11:26 AM

3 pungent voices in folk music - IMHO - Buffy St. Marie, Iris, and Jimmy Dale Gilmore, maybe Mary McCaslin too. I love them all in small doses, but I really think they are best in duet with others. Mary and Jim, Jimmy Dale and Butch, Iris and whoever - priceless.
Listen to Iris on the Bleeker St. cd with Loudon - love it!!
Hoping for Iris and Greg - any word on this?
Chris in Wheaton


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 11:18 AM

She does a lovely version of '50 miles of Elbow Room' on her Infamous Angel album, and there is something else that either her Mother or her and her Mother do {Higher Ground?}. So yes she has recorded other trad stuff.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 10:48 AM

We're not the jet set
we're the old chevrolet set

What a great line.
Love her to bits


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 09:47 AM

i'VE GOT HER FIRST TWO ALBUMS AND LOVE THEM TO BITS SO THERE!


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 09:43 AM

Iris DeMent is in the film 'Songcatcher' and, if my memory serves me right, sings the trad. song 'Pretty Saro'. I remember being completely blown away by that performance - just completely knockout! Does anyone know if she has recorded any more traditional songs?


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: kendall
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 09:22 AM

I can listen to her and enjoy her for about two songs. Then that little girl quality irritates me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 09:02 AM

Most irritating voice in music.

eric


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: Beer
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 08:14 AM

What a powerful voice. I heard Tom Russell being interview and he used the word "Haunting voice". I have to agree. As you probably know she is featured on Tom's folk opera c/d "The Man From God Knows Where".


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:58 AM

I mentioned her before on a thread and found she either attracts loving or loathing, my other half can't stand the sound of her voice, but then she does have strange taste in men too;~)
For me Iris Dement can do no wrong, and albeit a bit overplayed I still love Our Town.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:39 AM

I am always mystified as to why Iris and her music are rarely discussed here.

I think she's wonderful and agree with Open mike about her conviction and the emotive content.

I love all her stuff but "Easy's gettin' harder every day" and "Walking Home" give me the "sniffles" and make me marvel at her understanding.....Ake

BTW    I dont "sniffle" easily.


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: mooman
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 05:28 AM

Probably I have no taste at all but I (and also the Good Lady McMoo) personally love her songs and voice and we have a couple of them in our repertoire.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Review: Iris Dement
From: open mike
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 02:23 AM

the song mentioned above, although sung by Iris,
was written by Mr. Iris Dement (Greg Brown)
(The Train Carrying Jimmie Rogers Home)

and I love her voice, her songs, and
her strength of conviction, especially
in the song Wasteland of the Free..
it is potent stuff.

the Let the Mystery Be is a great song..
sort of an asnostic anthem of sorts!!


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Subject: Iris DeMent
From: Arkie
Date: 21 Sep 05 - 12:16 AM

Iris DeMent was in Mountain View this past Saturday night. First time I had ever seen her perform and actually she did not perform.   She sang and accompanied herself on guitar and piano. It was a wonderful evening of sensitive, beautiful music. I am glad to have been one of the chosen ones.
I moved this message here from another thread on the same topic.
-Joe Offer-


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