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DeMent, Iris

Iris DeMent

Singer, songwriter

Iris DeMent is a singer-songwriter with a stellar reputation in American music circles, who first came to public attention with Infamous Angel, her 1992 debut. She earned a loyal following as well as the respect of leading songwriters, including EmmyLou Harris and John Prine. As a result, she was kept busy recording and performing through the remainder of the decade. She then experienced a marked period of writer's block, starting in about 1996.

"Iris DeMent didn't write any new songs, or at least any she was happy with, for close to a decade. In the first half of the 1990s, DeMent released three albums containing 28 original songs that earned her a reputation as one of the best songwriters of her generation," wrote David Cantwell in a 2004 No Depression profile of the singer-songwriter.

DeMent was born on January 5, 1961, in Paragould, Arkansas, the youngest of Patrick Shaw and Flora Mae DeMent's 14 children. The family had farmed for generations, but shortly before Iris was born, the farm failed and the DeMents moved into town, where Patrick went to work at a factory. The family relocated to California in 1964, as had many people from their area, and settled in Buena Park, a suburb of Los Angeles, and Patrick took a job as a gardener and janitor. The DeMents retained their Arkansas pentecostal ties, attending a Pentecostal church that was the core of the family's life.

Music had always played a key role in the DeMents' lives. Patrick had been a fiddle player, and Flora Mae often dreamed of singing at the Grand Ole Opry, a dream that would later inspire Iris to write "Mama's Opry." The entire family sang at church and home; when they were evangelizing in public, the children played piano, and Iris's sisters performed gospel for a time as the DeMent Sisters. "My parents wanted the boys to be preachers and the girls to be singers—forget college and all that stuff," DeMent told Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune.

As a child DeMent heard mostly gospel music, "kind of old-time gospel, with a lot of harmony," she noted in Acoustic Guitar. Gospel, however, wasn't the only music the budding artist loved. She listened to the folk-inflected music of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin's R&B, and Johnny Cash and Tom T. Hall's country sounds. DeMent began making up songs when she was very young but did not have the confidence to pursue songwriting seriously. She recalled in the Infamous Angel liner notes, "I was so intimidated by the idea of these people who could really write songs that I could never get one right for me."

Instead of pursuing music, DeMent dropped out of school, left home at the age of 17, and bounced around the country working a variety of jobs. She also moved away from the church, although its influence has remained strong throughout her career. By the time she was 25, DeMent was living in Topeka, Kansas, where a college creative writing course rekindled her desire to write music. "The writing and the music, the two things I loved the most, started coming together," she recalled in the Los Angeles Times. She began writing songs in her head because she didn't have a piano. Eventually she took up the more affordable guitar and taught herself to play with some help from her brother. Her first full-fledged song was "Our Town," inspired by a drive through a deserted Oklahoma town.

DeMent moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where she worked on her guitar skills and continued to write. After a year she worked up the courage to perform her songs, and started participating in open mic nights. "My songs seemed to give me the courage I needed," she told Steve Dollar in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During this apprenticeship she saved her money and eventually moved to Nashville.

In Nashville, DeMent attracted the notice of a number of influential people in the recording industry. Record producer Jim Rooney brought her to the attention of a Rounder/Philo executive, and she was quickly signed to a recording contract. Nashville performers took notice as well. Country singer Emmylou Harris invited DeMent to sing backup on her album Brand New Dance, and Nanci Griffith included her on the Grammy-winning 1993 album Other Voices, Other Rooms.

Rooney assisted DeMent on the production and recruitment of musicians for her first album, Infamous Angel. The instrumentation they chose was acoustic and spare, and included guitar, piano, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, and upright bass. Harris returned DeMent's earlier favor and sang harmony on "Mama's Opry," while on the spiritual "Higher Ground" DeMent gave the lead vocal to her favorite gospel singer—her mother. Infamous Angel was released in 1992, complete with well-known singer-songwriter John Prine's endorsement in the liner notes.

The music press was uniformly positive. Steven Rosen wrote in the Denver Post that Infamous Angel "astonished those who have heard it," and Mike Joyce, writing in the Washington Post, praised her "unadorned, often church-inflected balladry."

John Grooms of Creative Loafing pointed out that in the cynical age of the 1990s, the "spellbinding" DeMent put critics in the precarious position of "sounding sappy." Comparing her to some of the legends of country music, Guardian contributor Charlotte Greig felt that "she has the straightforward, pure delivery of a Loretta Lynn or a Hank Williams, a voice that doesn't compromise with the coy mannerisms of pop." "Her voice is extraordinary, there's nobody like her," country singer Emmylou Harris declared in the Chicago Tribune. "There's such a homogeneous sound on radio today, it's almost a shock to hear something so immediately identifiable and unique."

Infamous Angel was immediately popular on non-commercial radio, but mainstream stations showed little interest. Fortunately, many in the industry loved DeMent's music. Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant took to performing DeMent's songs in concert and, with alternative rocker David Byrne, did a rendition of the album's opening tune, "Let the Mystery Be," on MTV's Unplugged.

In early 1993 DeMent agreed to move to Warner Brothers, because they promised to let her do her music the way she wanted. The label executives held true to their word; that spring, they reissued Infamous Angel without making any changes or recutting any material. With her album in the stores, DeMent began touring, first in the United States with Griffith, Prine, and country-folk singer Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and then solo in Europe. She even put in an appearance at an inaugural gala for President Bill Clinton in January of 1993.

For the Record . . .

Born January 5, 1961, in Paragould, AR; daughter of Patrick Shaw (a farmer, janitor, and gardener) and Flora Mae DeMent; married Elmer McCall (a fire fighter and road manager), November 16, 1991; divorced, c. 1999; married Greg Brown (a singer songwriter), November 21, 2002.

Began writing songs in 1986; performed at open mic nights in Kansas City, MO; moved to Nashville to write and perform; signed with Rounder/Philo, c. 1990; released Infamous Angel, 1992; signed with Warner Bros. and reissued Infamous Angel, 1993; released My Life, 1994; appeared in film "Songcatcher," 2001; released Lifeline, 2004.

Addresses: Booking—Monterey Peninsula Artists, 509 Hartnell St., Monterey, CA 93940. Distributor—Redeye, 1130 Cherry Lane, Graham, NC 27253. Website—Iris DeMent Official Website: http://www.irisdement.com/.

DeMent's next album, 1994's My Life, proved she was right to trust Warner Bros. Once again, there was nothing slick about it. The themes of family, love, and loss were similar to her previous work, as was the spare instrumentation. The tone of My Life was darker than her previous work. Still, the somber lyrics and mood didn't disappoint the majority of music critics. Billboard, which found no track "less than stunning," agreed that the release offered "a more melancholy worldview," but contended that "it's the sweet kind, not the bitter, and it's easy to swallow when the presentation is unadorned acoustic guitar and piano that could be labeled country, bluegrass, or folk."

In 1996 DeMent released The Way I Should on Warner Bros. Randy Scruggs produced the album, and according to All Music Guide, it "marked a dramatic change not only in its more rock-influenced sound but also in its subject matter; where DeMent's prior work was introspective and deeply personal, The Way I Should was fiercely political, tackling topics like sexual abuse, religion, government policy, and Vietnam."

Lee Nichols, writing in The Progressive Populist, felt that the material came about from DeMent's having "surveyed the political and cultural landscape of America, and [not liking] what she sees." Not all the material on the album was political in nature, and DeMent told Nichols that she was not worried about perceptions that she was becoming more politically-oriented in her art. "To me," she said, "[the songs are] pretty personal; these are things that affect my life and the lives of people I know."

Even so, the album sparked some extreme reactions, particularly for her song "Wasteland of the Free." In an interview with David Cantwell that appeared in No Depression, DeMent noted that she was unprepared for the public reaction. "I guess I was a little ignorant as to how much of the response would be directed not at the song but at me personally."

She continued to tour constantly and was kept busy collaborating with others, frequently contributing vocals to the recording projects of other artists, including Ralph Stanley, Steve Earle, Tom Russell, and John Prine. OnIn Spite of Ourselves, DeMent recorded four duets with Prine, including "We're Not the Jet Set," "Let's Invite Them Over," and "In Spite of Ourselves." The latter, a bawdy he said-she said number, was also the title track for the Grammy-nominated collection.

DeMent contributed music to and had a brief role in the 2001 film Songcatcher. She told the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service that she reckoned "they lost their heads for a while ... I'm definitely not an actress." The film concerns the part music plays in the lives of the mountain people of an Appalachian community, and was met with favorable reviews.

This period was emotionally trying for DeMent, who was unable to compose any songs for several years after the release of The Way I Should. She summed up the period in a few pat phrases. "I got divorced, I bought a house, I remarried, I made some new friends and got back in close with old friends I'd lost touch with, I started working a lot less, eating a little better, resting a little more," she told Cantwell. "I've been gardening. Basically just having more of a home life, something I didn't have much of for a while there."

DeMent married singer-songwriter Greg Brown in 2002. That same year she recorded his "The Train Carrying Jimmie Rodgers Home" for Going Driftless: An Artists' Tribute to Greg Brown.

On the evening of March 21, 2003, after the United States had begun the war in Iraq, DeMent was scheduled to perform in Madison, Wisconsin, but went on stage and told the audience she could not sing that evening. DeMent contended she never intended to make a "big statement," as she explained in an interview with No Depression, but "I'd been named as one of the new 'enemies' on some extremist show and that's all it took." The reaction unnerved her, perhaps even exacerbating the problems she was experiencing with her writing.

"DeMent's standard response when asked why she hasn't put out a record in so long—'I haven't written twelve songs that I want to make a record of'—doesn't identify the problem as writer's block so much as her own high standards," wrote Cantwell. "She's worked very hard at writings songs; she's written some songs; she just doesn't think they're good songs.

DeMent chose to record a project filled with gospel standards in 2004. Lifeline was released on her own label after she turned down an offer from New West Records in the summer of 2004. "A few years ago... the hard times came in for a long visit and about the only thing that helped was sitting at the piano singing these songs to myself," she wrote in the liner notes. The songs are traditional staples of church music—"Blessed Assurance," "Sweet Hour of Prayer," and "I've Got That Old Time Religion in My Heart."

"Religious and old-time gospel songs have always informed DeMent's music, even on her earlier albums when she was singing about her home town or war or passion. Here, though, they are the central focus," wrote Joe Heim in the Washington Post. "And in them she has found the refuge and relief she so desperately sought. It's not a stretch to imagine that she hopes the songs might provide the same for others," he wrote.

Selected discography

Solo albums

Infamous Angel, Rounder/Philo, 1992; reissued, Warner Bros., 1993.

My Life, Warner Bros., 1994.

The Way I Should, Warner Bros., 1996.

Lifeline, FlariElla, 2004.

As contributor

(With others) Best of Mountain Stage Live, Volume 6, Blue Plate, 1994.

(With others) Tulare Dust: A Songwriter's Tribute to Merle Haggard, WEA/Atlantic/Rhino/Hightone, 1994.

(With others) Folk Live from Mountain Stage, Blue Plate Records, 1997.

(With others) The Folkscene Collection: From the Heart of Studio A, Red House Records, 1998.

(Contributor) The Horse Whisperer: Songs from and Inspired by the Motion Picture (soundtrack), MCA/Nashville, 1998.

(With John Prine) In Spite of Ourselves, Oh Boy! Records, 1999.

(Contributor) Songcatcher (soundtrack), Vanguard, 2001.

(With others) Going Driftless: An Artists' Tribute to Greg Brown, Red House Records, 2002.

Sources

Periodicals

Acoustic Guitar, July 1994.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 6, 1992; March 13, 1993; April 23, 1994.

Billboard, March 12, 1994; April 23, 1994; December 14, 2002.

Boston Globe, June 4, 1993; April 21, 1994.

Chicago Tribune, July 11, 1993; April 21, 1994.

Country Music, July 1994.

Creative Loafing (Atlanta, GA), April 23, 1994.

Denver Post, October 2, 1992; April 28, 1994.

Detroit News, July 16, 1993.

Entertainment Weekly, September 4, 1992; April 15, 1994.

Guardian (London, England), May 12, 1993.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, August 6, 2001.

Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 24, 1994.

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1993; April 17, 1994.

Metro Pulse (Knoxville, TN), April 22, 1994.

Musician, May 1994.

Nashville Scene, April 28, 1994.

Newsweek, April 18, 1994.

New York Daily News, April 10, 2001.

New York Times, October 31, 1992.

No Depression, November-December 2004.

Rolling Stone, May 13, 1993; October 20, 1994.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 1994.

Sing Out!, Spring 2003.

Spin, June 1994.

Stereo Review, September 1992.

Washington Post, June 28, 1992.

Online

"An American's Story—Iris DeMent: Hillbilly angel not afraid to ask questions," Progressive Populist, http://www.populist.com/4.97.dement.html (December 15, 2004).

"Finding Her Religion," MSNBC, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6503413/ (December 15, 2004).

"Homespun of the Brave," No Depression,http://www.nodepression.net/archive/nd06/features/dement.html (December 23, 2004).

"Iris DeMent," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (December 15, 2004).

"Iris DeMent," Canoe/Jam Music, http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusicArtistsD/dement_iris.html (December 15, 2004).

"'Lifeline': Iris DeMent's Sweet Salvation," Washington Post,http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21168-2004Nov3.html (December 15, 2004).

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Peter Asher Management, Warner Bros. press materials, and the liner notes to Infamous Angel and My Life.

—Megan Rubiner Zinn andLinda Dailey Paulson

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DeMent, Iris

Iris DeMent

Singer, songwriter

For the Record

Church and Music Were Inseparable

Took Off in Nashville

My Life Simple Yet Stunning

Selected discography

Sources

In the notes to Infamous Angel, Iris DeMents debut album, folk songwriter John Prine recalled listening to Mamas Opry while frying up a batch of pork chops. Being the sentimental fellow I am, I got a lump in my throat and a tear fell from my eyes into the hot oil. Well, the oil popped out and burnt my arm as if the pork chops were trying to say, Shut up, or Ill really give you something to cry about.

DeMent has a knack for eliciting this sort of reaction. John Grooms of Creative Loafing admitted that Prine had good reason to cry: Its as moving as songwriting can get without becoming maudlin. He pointed out that in the caustic age of the 1990s, the spellbinding DeMent puts critics in the precarious position of sounding sappy. Comparing her to some of the legends of country music, Guardian contributor Charlotte Greig explained, She has the straightforward, pure delivery of a Loretta Lynn or a Hank Williams, a voice that doesnt compromise with the coy mannerisms of pop, while her songs have a cheerful, bouncy edge, coupled with a lump-in-the-throat emotional directness that stops you in your tracks.

Disregarding the lines between folk, country, bluegrass, and gospel, DeMent writes songs that recall previous generations of performers, especially country musics Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. In her plaintive and imperfect dust bowl storytellers voice, as Chris Barrett of Knoxvilles Metro Pulse characterized it, she sings simple, forthright songs of family, love, and loss in a unembellished style, and with a subtle wit, rephrasing age old stories in very contemporary context.

The resulting music sounds very fresh. Her voice is extraordinary, theres nobody like her, country singer Emmylou Harris effused in the Chicago Tribune. Theres such a homogeneous sound on radio today, its almost a shock to hear something so immediately identifiable and unique.

DeMent was born in Paragould, Arkansas, on January 5, 1961, the youngest of Patric Shaw and Flora Mae DeMents 14 children. The family had been farmers for generations, but shortly before Iris was born the farm failed and the DeMents moved into town. Three years later, they relocated to California, as did many people from their area. The family settled in Buena Vista, a suburb of Los Angeles, and Patric took a job as gardener and janitor at the Movieland Wax Museum and Palace of Living Art. But the DeMents retained their Arkansas ties, attending a Pentecostal church with the same pastor and much of the same congregation from their church back home.

For the Record

Born January 5, 1961, in Paragould, AR; daughter of Patric Shaw (a farmer, janitor, and gardener) and Flora Mae DeMent; married Elmer McCall (a firefighter and road manager), November 16, 1991.

Began writing songs in 1986; performed at open mic nights in Kansas City, MO; moved to Nashville to write and perform; signed with Rounder/Philo, c. 1990; released Infamous Angel, 1992; signed with Warner Bros. and reissued Infamous Angel, 1993; released My Life, 1994.

Addresses: Home P.O. Box 28856, Gladstone, MO 64188. Record company Warner Bros., 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. ManagementPeter Asher Management, 644 North Doheny Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Church and Music Were Inseparable

Music had always played a key role in the DeMents lives. Patric was quite a fiddle player before Iris was born, and Flora Mae often dreamed of singing at the Grand Ole Oprya dream that would later inspire Iris to write Mamas Opry. The entire family sang at church and home; the children played piano, and Iriss sisters performed gospel for a time as the DeMent Sisters. My parents wanted the boys to be preachers and the girls to be singersforget college and all that stuff, DeMent told Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. If you could be a preacher or singer, you were really on top.

As a child, DeMent heard mostly gospel musickind of old-time gospel, with a lot of harmony, she noted in Acoustic Guitar and the familys favorites were Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Gospel however, wasnt the only music the budding artist loved. She listened to the folk-inflected music of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklins R&B, and Johnny Cash and Tom T. Halls country sounds. DeMent began making up songs when she was very young but did not have the confidence to pursue songwriting seriously. She recalled in the Infamous Angel liner notes, I was so intimidated by the idea of these people who could really write songs that I could never get one right for me.

Instead of pursuing music, DeMent dropped out of school, left home at the age of 17, and bounced around the country working at a variety of jobs. She also moved away from the church, though its influence remains strong in her songs. By the time she was 25, DeMent was living in Topeka, Kansas, where a college creative writing course rekindled her desire to write music. The writing and the music, the two things I loved the most, started coming together, she recalled in the Los Angeles Times. She began writing songs in her head because she didnt have a piano. Eventually she took up the more affordable guitar and taught herself to play with some help from her brother. The first full-fledged song she wrote was Our Town, inspired by a drive through a deserted Oklahoma town.

DeMent then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where she worked on her guitar skills and continued to write. After a year she worked up the courage to perform her songs and started participating in open mic nights. My songs seemed to give me the courage I needed, that I didnt have before, to go out and sing in front of people, she revealed to Steve Dollar in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During this apprenticeship she saved her money and eventually moved to Nashville.

Took Off in Nashville

In Nashville, DeMent attracted the notice of a number of influential people in the recording industry. Record producer Jim Rooney, instrumental in advancing the career of country-folk musician Nanci Griffith, brought her to the attention of a Rounder/Philo executive, and she was quickly signed to a recording contract. Nashville performers took notice as well. Country singer Emmylou Harris invited DeMent to sing backup on her album Brand New Dance, and Griffith included heron the Grammy-winning 1993 album Other Voices, Other Rooms.

Rooney assisted DeMent on the production and recruitment of musicians for her first album, Infamous Angel. The instrumentation they chose was acoustic and spareguitar, piano, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, and upright bass. Harris returned DeMents earlier favor and sang harmony on Mamas Opry, while on the spiritual Higher Ground, DeMent gave the lead vocal to her favorite gospel singerher mother. Infamous Angel was released in 1992 complete with John Prines endorsement in the notes: So listen to this music, this Iris DeMent. Its good for you.

The music press agreed wholeheartedly. As Steven Rosen wrote in the Denver Post, Infamous Angel astonished those who have heard it. Los Angeles Times contributor Mike Boehm marveled at DeMents sweet old-time voice, and Mike Joyce, writing in the Washington Post, praised both her unadorned, often churchinflected balladry and stellar backing musicians.

Infamous Angel was immediately popular on noncommercial radiopublic stations, adult album alternatives, and rural countrybut mainstream stations showed little interest. Ironically, as a Rounder executive explained to Grooms in a Creative Loafing interview, country radio found her music too country. Fortunately, many in the industry loved DeMents music. Singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant took to performing DeMents songs in concert, and with alternative rocker David Byrne did a rendition of the albums opening tune, Let the Mystery Be, on MTVs Unplugged. Meanwhile, in early 1993, Warners London A&R chief Andy Wickham played Infamous Angel for Warner Bros. President Lenny Waronker, who, according to Billboard, knew by the end of Let the Mystery Be that he wanted to sign her.

DeMent agreed to move to Warner Bros. because they promised to let her do her music the way she wanted to do itwithout forcing her to fit the glossy mainstream of country music. She told Paul Robicheau in an interview for the Boston Globe that savvy industry people thought she was naive to believe that Warner wouldnt push her into a mold, but she had little to fear. If it isnt handled that way, I have a pretty loud screaming voice, she reassured him. The label executives held true to their word; that spring, they reissued Infamous Angel without making any changes or recutting any material.

With her album in the stores, DeMent began touring, first in the United States with Griffith, Prine, and country-folk singer Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and then solo in Europe. She even put in an appearance at an inaugural gala for President Bill Clinton in January of 1993. Having made her mark in Nashville, DeMent had by this time moved back to Kansas City to be with her firefighter boyfriend, Elmer McCall. They were married on November 16, 1991; when touring began to take her away from home, Elmer retired and began fighting different fires as DeMents road manager.

My Life Simple Yet Stunning

DeMents next album, 1994s My Life, proved she was right to trust Warner Bros. Once again, there was nothing slick about it. The themes of family, love, and loss were similar to her previous work, as was the spare instrumentation. The tone of My Life is darker, however; according to Newsweeks Jeff Giles, the album is a crushingly sad meditation on love and childhood. Still, the somber lyrics and mood didnt disappoint the majority of music critics, who consistently praised the album. Giles suggested that in a rational universe My Life would win a Grammy. Billboard, which found no track less than stunning, agreed that the release offers a more melancholy worldview, but contended that its the sweet kind, not the bitter, and its easy to swallow when the presentation is unadorned acoustic guitar and piano that could be labeled country, bluegrass, or folk.

DeMent continued to receive an unusual amount of attention for such a noncommercial performer, including a feature article in Newsweek and an invitation to perform on The Tonight Show. Warner Bros. looked to this sort of exposure to expand DeMents following. According to Billboards Eric Boehlert, the label was anxious for as many people as possible to hear DeMent live, knowing not much of her music would be heard on commercial radio. To that end, she followed the release of My Life with an extensive tour of the United States and Europe. Label President Waronker expressed faith that her audience would grow. Ill bet on her, he insisted in Billboard.

In My Life, DeMent sings My life, its only a season/A passing September that no one will recall. Entertainment Weekly contributor Alanna Nash firmly disagreed. With writing such as this, she concluded, such a forecast is doubtful. Its something to watch, how she walks the tightrope of honest emotion without falling over into gushiness, Grooms observed. Watching her lyrical/emotional highwire actan act performed without a commercial safety net and one that in the end leaves you face to face with clear insightscan be exhilarating.

Selected discography

Infamous Angel (includes Let the Mystery Be, Our Town, Mamas Opry, and Higher Ground), Rounder/Philo, 1992, reissued, Warner Bros., 1993.

My Life, Warner Bros., 1994.

Sources

Acoustic Guitar, July 1994.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 6,1992 (as reprinted from the Philadelphia Inquirer); March 13, 1993; April 23, 1994.

Billboard, March 12, 1994; April 23, 1994.

Boston Globe, June 4, 1993; April 21, 1994.

Chicago Tribune, July 11, 1993; April 21, 1994.

Christian Science Monitor, April 22, 1994.

Country Music, July 1994.

Creative Loafing (Atlanta), April 23, 1994.

Denver Post, October 2, 1992; April 28, 1994.

Detroit News, July 16, 1993.

Entertainment Weekly, September 4, 1992; April 15, 1994.

Guardian (London), May 12, 1993.

Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee), April 24, 1994.

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1993; April 17, 1994.

Metro Pulse (Knoxville, TN), April 22, 1994.

Metro Times (Detroit), April 27, 1994.

Musician, May 1994.

Nashville Scene, April 28, 1994.

New England Folk Almanac, June 1994.

Newsweek, April 18, 1994.

New York Times, October 31, 1992.

Pulse!, June 1994.

Rolling Stone, May 13, 1993; October 20, 1994.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 1994.

Spin, June 1994.

Stereo Review, September 1992.

Washington Post, June 28, 1992.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Peter Asher Management, Warner Bros. press materials, and the liner notes to Infamous Angel and My Life.

Megan Rubiner Zinn

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"DeMent, Iris." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"DeMent, Iris." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/dement-iris

"DeMent, Iris." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved May 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/dement-iris