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New Album Workin' On A World out February 24 

 

On February 24th, Iris DeMent contemplates the external and internal issues of our world with her 7th album, the inspiring Workin’ On A World. During the course of her celebrated career, the pioneering artist has continued to evolve as she thoughtfully touches on the critical moments in our lives. On Workin’ On A World, her songs are her way of healing our broken inner and outer spaces. 

DeMent sets the stage for the album with the title track in which she moves from a sense of despair towards a place of promise. “Now I’m workin’ on a world I may never see ‘ Joinin’ forces with the warriors of love / Who came before and will follow you and me.” “Goin' Down To Sing in Texas” is an ode not only to gun control, but also to the brave folks who speak out against tyranny and endure the consequences in an unjust world. 

Stalled partway through by the pandemic, the record took six years to make with the help of three friends and co-producers: Richard Bennett, Pieta Brown, and Jim Rooney. It was Pieta Brown who gave the record its final push. “Pieta asked me what had come of the recordings I’d done with Jim and Richard in 2019 and 2020. I told her I’d pretty much given up on trying to make a record. She asked would I mind if she had a listen. So, I had everything we’d done sent over to her, and not long after that I got a text, bouncing with exclamation marks: ‘You have a record and it’s called Workin’ On A World!’” With Bennett back in the studio with them, Brown and DeMent recorded several more songs and put the final touches on the record in Nashville in April of 2022. 

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Hear the singles

Infamous Angel 30th Anniversary Edition 

The 30th Anniversary Edition of Infamous Angel, remastered for vinyl and CD, is out now. Get the indie exclusive brown vinyl from your local record store, or the standard edition here.

 

A Note from Iris DeMent 

Like so many of you, I am deeply saddened by the passing of John Prine. It is my prayer that all the love he gave to this world will be returned ten-fold to his family — the ones he cherished the most — and that that love will help sustain them through their grief.  

Having known John for some 30 years now, a flood of memories are swirling around in my head. And as John had a way of making even the most mundane seem special, any one of those memories would be justified in retelling but for now, the quality about John that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind might best be summed up by something Nelson Mandela once said: “It never hurts to think too highly of a person; often they become ennobled and act better because of it.” 

We all know that John ennobled the characters in his songs. Any of us lucky enough to have seen one of his shows, knows he also did this for his audience. I, for one, happen to know he did it at truck stops and Dairy Queens, too.  John was one of the all-time great ennoblers of others.  

Some years ago, I placed a call to my now dear friend, Reverend Samuel E. Mann and I told him I wanted to join his church but that I did not take the Bible literally and I didn’t want to say I believed a bunch of things I didn’t so I could be part of a group. To which, Sam replied: “We do not believe in a magic Jesus.  Jesus lived his life loving and caring for ‘the least of these’ — that was the miracle. And it was enough!”  

John Prine was, without a doubt, one of the greatest songwriters this world will ever know. Many people more qualified than me have written about why that is. And many more will follow. Greatest or not, here’s what it comes down to for me and here’s why he rests on my heart’s mountain top: Because he cared enough to look — at me, you, all of us — until he saw what was noble and then he wrapped us up in melodies and sung us back to ourselves.  

That was the miracle of John Prine. And it was enough.