Infamous Angelby Iris DeMent
A remarkable debut, Infamous Angel established Iris DeMent as one of the greatest artists of her generation. With her gift for poignant, confessional songwriting and a voice that makes raw beauty seem like a brand new thing, she invokes the elemental magic of the Carter Family while sounding as fresh and modern as John Prine (who, not surprisingly, is one of her biggest champions). DeMent's concerns are largely family and tradition, and many of these songs deal with memories of life and love. Her Carter influence is revealed in a spirited cover of the classic "Fifty Miles of Elbow Room" as well as "Mama's Opry," a tribute to her mother, who also sings lead on "Higher Ground." These are wonderful, but DeMent's greater talent is the ballad, and she delivers an astonishing handful, including "When Love Was Young," "Sweet Forgiveness," and "After You're Gone," a tribute to her dying father that is so profoundly affecting that one is rendered nearly helpless listening to it. In the end, one finishes this record somber but refreshed by DeMent's charming, almost na�ve, outlook on life. That na�vet� isn't an act, either -- DeMent claims in her liner notes that she's never thought of herself as a great singer. She couldn't be more wrong, and listeners can thank heaven that she changed her mind, for this is an album to be cherished and played as long as one has life to listen.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsIris DeMent Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Emmylou Harris Background Vocals,Gut String Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Hal Ketchum Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jim Rooney Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Vocal Harmony
Mark Howard Acoustic Guitar
Flora Mae DeMent Vocals
Stuart Duncan Fiddle,Mandolin
Jeff Hushkins Bass
Roy M. "Junior" Husky Upright Bass
Infamous Angel Choir Vocals
Pete Wasner Piano
Roy Huskey Bass
Jeff Black Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Technical CreditsIris DeMent Liner Notes
Jim Rooney Producer,Engineer
Richard Adler Engineer
Infamous Angel Choir Contributor
Rev. F.W. McGee Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Why have we not discovered this incredible performer with lyrics to touch heart, home and soul before? This is a 5 star CD - no doubt about it. Every song stirs emotions not often invoked. You won't be disappointed.
Last month I idly mentioned to my brother Tim that I had heard a woman singing on the radio, and I just HAD TO get one of her recordings. "Oh, that must be Iris", he replied nonchalantly. He was right! And then some. He helped me find "Infamous Angel", and I am now thoroughly hooked on Iris Dement's evocative lyrics and exquisitely plaintive voice. Why only a "4" for this album? In the "talking" parts of some songs, "plaintive" yields occasionally to "whining", a blemish polished over in "My Life", the sequel album which Tim and I exchanged as gifts this Christmas week. I can't wait to hear her third release, also available through Barnes and Noble, "The Way I Should". I cannot fathom why this brilliant performer has not become a household name. Perhaps Iris likes it this way.
I shall always cherish each song on this cd. It is the best I've heard in years. The only album I would compare to this one is Johnny Horton's Honky Tonk Man. I don't know how the world missed this great singer-songwriter. Like Hank Williams before her, Iris sings songs from the heart that make you feel as though you have heard them all your life even if hearing for the first time! Unfortunately the folks who control country music do not like country music. They only promote southern rock and pop. Go Iris!!