“Iris DeMent makes music that celebrates humanity’s efforts toward salvation, while acknowledging that most of our time on Earth is spent reconciling with the fact that we don’t feel so redeemed. Grounded in hymns, early country songs, gospel and folk, DeMent’s work is treasured by those who know it for its insight and unabashed beauty.”
“The title cut from DeMent’s new album is a love song to the South, her drawl caressing the lyrics like a Stax Records piano-triplet groove.”
NPR’s Ken Tucker reviews Sing the Delta on Fresh Air:
“The songs on Sing the Delta only grow more rich, more emotionally complex, the more you hear them. And I plan to keep listening to these songs for a long time.”
“Even though Iris DeMent admits she likes to work at her own pace when it comes to songwriting, 16 years is a long time. The songs themselves are as languorous as a hot summer afternoon, evoking DeMent’s early childhood in Arkansas. But her distinct voice – richer, more expressive and more reflective than ever – pulls you along through the entire album. In an era when we demand instant gratification from everything, DeMent’s new CD says a lot for taking your sweet time.”
Meredith Ochs of NPR’s All Things Considered reviews “Sing The Delta” – listen to the complete review online.
Stuart Munro of The Boston Globe had some kind words for Sing The Delta:
“The songs on “Sing the Delta” took a long time to make their way to Iris DeMent; she released her last album of original material 16 years ago. Her patience has rewarded us with a work of rare, unvarnished grace and power. “Sing the Delta” finds her, still, writing plainspoken, fiercely honest, deeply considered songs about matters of faith and questioning (“The Night I Learned How Not to Pray”), loss and remembering (“Before the Colors Fade”), simple beauty (“Mornin’ Glory”), and, especially, family and the ties family produces to place and the past (“Sing the Delta”). Those explorations are conveyed by a persistent gospel tenor and by her remarkable, thick twang, which quavers, thins, stretches, and soars in a manner that cuts to the emotional heart of the matter. In the album’s most explicitly autobiographical song, DeMent pays tribute to her mother: “When it came to her feelins there wasn’t a back burner on that stove,” she sings; “My mama was always tellin’ her truth.” On “Sing the Delta,” DeMent tells — sings, to our great fortune — her truth.
Engine 145 and Wall Street Journal writer Barry Mazor had some kind words for the upcoming Sing the Delta, calling it “a major event, one of the most moving releases of the decade” after seeing Iris at her recent Country Music Hall of Fame performance. Read the full article here.