[Ed. Note: this was written by Michael Roberts.]
By the standards of most contemporary performers, Iris DeMent works largely off the grid. She doesn't have a MySpace page, and her official website (www.irisdement.com) is apparently dead. Not that modern technology has ever been her raison d'être.
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Dement's first album, 1992's Infamous Angel, was a stunning original folk collection that earned her a record deal with Warner Bros. Unfortunately, critical raves failed to supercharge sales of 1994's My Life, her first album for the imprint, and her next disc, 1996's The Way I Should, was seen as a commercial compromise despite featuring material like "Letter to Mom" (about a woman revealing that she'd been raped by her mother's boyfriend at age ten.)
DeMent's had a considerably lower profile since then, making her last new recording back in 2004. But she needn't worry about keeping up with the times. Her best music is timeless - the kind of material that sounds better played live in an intimate room than on an MP3.
7 p.m. tonight at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999 or www.mcgonigels.com.