(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent brings her Grammy Award-nominated country-folk songs to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, July 19, at 8pm. Since her debut in 1992 with “Infamous Angel,” DeMent has been regarded in musical circles as an authentic living legend, the last of fourteen children born in a Pentecostal household in Arkansas, who spent her childhood immersed in gospel and traditional country music.
Boasting an uncanny voice that recalls a grittier Emmylou Harris, Iris DeMent’s “Infamous Angel,” initially released by Cambridge-based Rounder Records in 1992, was re-released by Warner Bros., immediately establishing her as a major star on the roots-music scene. Its 1994 follow-up, “My Life,” earned a Grammy Award 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.”
DeMent has recorded and toured extensively with John Prine, singing four duets with him on “In Spite of Ourselves,” and had a minor role in the motion picture “Songcatcher,” as well as contributing a song to its soundtrack.
In 2004 she recorded the gospel album, “Lifeline.” One of the songs from that album, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” was chosen by the Coen Brothers to run over the closing credits of their 2010 remake of the classic western “True Grit.”
Rolling Stone described the songs on her 2012 album, “Sing the Delta,” as “artisanal songs of love and doubt” that “wear their homeliness proudly; the effect is like finding a bountiful farmstand in the middle of nowhere”.
In August, DeMent will release her latest work, “The Trackless Woods,” a collection of 18 poems written by the late Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and set to music by DeMent.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.