Iris Dement – New Album and Australian Tour

Read about the new album and Australian tour of Iris Dement

iris dement


Iris Dement To Embark On Australian Tour

New Album “The Trackless Woods” Announced

American singer/songwriter Iris Dement returns to Australia in May 2015.  This is extremely good news for me as I missed out on seeing this highly-acclaimed performer on her last trip, back in 2013 – I was simply too slow to get tickets and the gig sold out (sloppy I know!).  The tour kicks off at The Gov in Adelaide on 22 May and travels to Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne before her final performance at the Factory Theatre in Sydney on 29 May.

Joining her will be extremely talented folk singer Pieta Brown, who has performed with the likes of Mark Knopfler, John Prine, Amos Lee, Justin Vernon and Calexico.  I have seen Brown perform many times and this is going to be a special tour indeed (adding to the talent for the Melbourne show will be the delightful duo The Weeping Willows, as support).

News to hand is that Dement will be releasing a new album The Trackless Woods this August and Australia may be one of the first places to hear the new material.  Tour dates are below.

DeMent has released five studio albums with her last LP Sing The Delta out in 2012.

The last of fourteen children, born in Arkansas and raised in Southern California, DeMent spent her childhood immersed in gospel and traditional country music.  Infamous Angel, issued in 1992, immediately established her as a promising and talented artist.  Its 1994 follow-up My Life earned a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Folk category and her 1996 album The Way I Should, which addressed political, as well as personal themes, brought her a second 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 invited her to tour with his legendary band “The Strangers,” sitting in as piano player and later went on to record two of her songs, “No Time To Cry” and the gospel tinged “The Shores of Jordan”.  She’s recorded and toured extensively with John Prine, singing four duets with him on “In Spite of Ourselves” and had a minor role in the movie Songcatcher, as well as contributing a song to its soundtrack.

In 2004 she recorded the gospel album, Lifeline“I took a bunch of old church songs I love…songs I’ve sung since as far back as I can remember, and sat down at a worn out, warbly piano with some tape rolling.”  One of the songs caught on that tape was her rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” the song the Coen Brothers chose to run over the closing credits of their remake of the classic western True Grit.

As with Lifeline, DeMent released her latest album Sing The Delta on her own label, Flariella Records.  Co-produced with Richard Bennett and Bo Ramsey, Sing The Delta was lauded by fans and critics far and wide.  It’s a beautiful collection of songs and a wonderful return to recording after an eight-year hiatus.

And so to the upcoming release.  The Trackless Woods is a collection of eighteen poems written by the late Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and set to music by DeMent.  Akhmatova was born in 1889 and lived through her homeland’s tumultuous 20th century before dying in 1966.

The Trackless Woods will be out August 7 2015 on Flariella Records, but NPR has previewed one song from the album, “Listening to Singing,” below.  You can find more on the inspiration for the new album here.


Iris Dement Australian Tour Dates

22 May 15
Adelaide, Australia
23 May 15
Newcastle, Australia
24 May 15
Brisbane, Australia
28 May 15
Thombury, Australia
29 May 15
Marrickville, Australia


Read about the new album and Australian tour of Iris Dement

Read about the new album and Australian tour of Iris Dement

Read about the new album and Australian tour of Iris Dement


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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. Thanks. Great news about her touring and a new record which sounds very intriguing. You might like the Immortal Jukebox post on Iris and Mary Gauthier. Regards Thom.

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    • Very interesting and well written piece Thom. Both Iris and Mary are sharp and profound songwriters. Thanks!

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