Iris DeMent

Over three extraordinary albums in the early 1990s, Iris DeMent established herself as a brilliant singer and songwriter whose timeless material embraced country, folk, and gospel while probing rare depths of emotion. Her voice in particular—brittle yet fortified with inner spirit; weary yet unbowed, glowing with a deeper wisdom—seems as elemental a force of nature as an Appalachian brook or the prairie wind. And it's perfect for her songs, which often grapple with scenes of life and death seemingly captured on sepia-toned photographs. But apparently DeMent's muse arrives only at odd intervals. She hasn't recorded an album of new material since 1996's The Way I Should, although recently she's said she almost has enough material for a new album. Maybe she'll slip a new one into her already rich catalog during this relatively rare foray up from Iowa.
Sun., April 3, 7 p.m., 2011

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