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Honest Bittersweet Reflections [no label, 1CD]
Live at the Cactus Cafe, Austin, Texas, USA; September 18, 1994. Ex FM stereo.
A radio show for Iris DeMent to showcase her then new album, My Life. She’s lively, communicating easily with the audience and she seems to enjoy performing. Performed live and solo, her songs reach a level of intimacy not matched on the albums. This is especially so for the five songs from her album My Life.
Like Gillian Welch, DeMent is a post-baby boomer, born in the ’60s. She would record another album two years later in 1996, then hibernate till 2004.
Her career can be summed up in one paragraph, courtesy of wikipedia:
Her first album, Infamous Angel, was released in 1992 and explored themes like religious skepticism, living in a small town, lamenting “nothing good ever lasts”, and forgiving human frailty. Her song, “Let the Mystery Be”, from that album has been covered by a number of artists, including 10,000 Maniacs and Alice Stuart, and has become one of DeMent’s better known compositions. In her second album, My Life, released in 1994, she continued the personal and introspective approach. My Life was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category. DeMent’s third album, The Way I Should, was released in 1996. Featuring the protest song “Wasteland of the Free,” it is DeMent’s most political work, and covers topics like sexual abuse, religion, government policy, and Vietnam. After a hiatus during the late 1990s and early 2000s, she released her fourth album, Lifeline, in 2004.
DeMent’s recording career remains in limbo. She has not released any music since 2004. To quote her, “let the mystery be” but it will be our loss. Thankfully, DeMent’s still touring.
The title of this bootleg comes from the radio announcer who describes DeMent’s music as “honest, bittersweet reflections”. How true, that truth is seldom sweet.
- The Little Chicken
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.
Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.
Track 01. The Shores Of Jordan* (6.7MB)
Track 02. These Hills** (6.9MB)
Track 03. You’ve Done Nothing Wrong* (7.0MB)
Track 04. Infamous Angel** (6.3MB)
Track 05. Let The Mystery Be** (4.5MB)
Track 06. Walking Home+ (11.2MB)
Track 07. Hotter Than The Mojave In My Heart** (4.1MB)
Track 08. Easy’s Getting Harder Every Day* (8.9MB)
Track 09. Childhood Memories* (8.9MB)
Track 10. No Time To Cry* (10.7MB)
Track 11. My French Boy (7.8MB)
Track 12. Our Town** (11.4MB)
* from her 1994 sophomore album My Life.
** from her 1992 debut album Infamous Angel.
+ from her third album, 1996’s The Way I Should.
Get the original studio versions of these songs on her albums My Life and Infamous Angel. Both are passionate kisses to country music. Click on the link to order Iris DeMent’s albums.