Album of the Day
The youngest of 14 children, Arkansas-born Iris Dement sings of rural America with the honesty and compassion of a Dorothea Lange photograph. The singer-songwriter's debut for Warner Bros., MY LIFE, was cut in Nashville in 1994, but its spirit harks back to country and folk of earlier eras; the 10 tracks include fine covers of Lefty Frizzell and Maybelle Carter favorites. Dement's originals more than hold their own in that august company – such highlights as “No Time to Cry,” “Easy's Gettin' Harder Every Day” and the title track are as emotionally powerful as they are straightforward – and her voice adds a rough-hewn grace to everything it touches. Nominated for a Best Contemporary Folk Grammy, MY LIFE belongs in any roots music fan's life.