Fifty years after Crowell first started playing as a teen in Houston garage bands, he has moved into elder-statesman territory. His songs have been recorded by country legends such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and George Strait and artists such as Etta James, Van Morrison and Bob Seger. He is a Grammy award winner, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association, and the author of his autobiography, the stunning Chinaberry Sidewalks.
On his latest album, Close Ties, Crowell both demonstrates his strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach. It’s at once his most intimate record and his most accessible and has been rightly acclaimed as one of his very best.
Iris DeMent was born in 1961 in rural Arkansas, the youngest of 14 children. At the age of three, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music but was also exposed to country, folk, and R&B.
DeMent first began composing songs at the age of 25 and released her debut album, Infamous Angel, in 1992 to universal acclaim. The stunning My Life and the hard-hitting The Way I Should soon followed to equally positive reactions. In 1999, she recorded four knockabout duets for singer-songwriter John Prine’s In Spite of Ourselves album, earning a second Grammy nomination. 2004’s gospel collection Lifeline was eventually followed by Sing The Delta in 2012, her first album of original material in 16 years. The Trackless Woods, an album of Anna Akhmatova poems set to music was released in 2015 to a very warm reception. A huge hit on her previous visit in 2011, Iris DeMent very rarely visits the UK and this is an unmissable chance to see a true American original.
Fri 27 Jul: 7.30pm
Perth Concert Hall
£32.50; concessions £30 (inc £1.50 booking fee per ticket)
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