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EIU Media Relations

EIU’s Doudna Fine Arts Center to showcase Iris DeMent performance October 18



(Charleston, IL) – Acclaimed singer/songwriter Iris DeMent will perform at Eastern Illinois University’s Dvorak Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 18.

DeMent’s 1992 debut album Infamous Angel was hailed by Rolling Stone as “an essential album of the 90s.” Combining elements of folk, gospel and country, her rich lyrical landscapes and captivating music have earned two Grammy nominations and the respect of music industry peers such as John Prine, Emmylou Harris, and Rodney Crowell.

NPR has called DeMent “one of the great voices in contemporary popular music,” and the Boston Globe heralded her 2012 album Sing the Delta to be a “work of rare, unvarnished grace and power.”

Born in Arkansas and raised in Southern California, DeMent spent her childhood immersed in gospel and traditional country music. Throughout her career, several of DeMent’s songs became cultural touchstones. “Let The Mystery Be” found its way to MTV Unplugged as a duet by David Byrne and Natalie Merchant. “Our Town” was played over the farewell scene in the series finale of Northern Exposure. Merle Haggard, invited her to tour with his legendary band “The Strangers,” sitting in as a piano player and later went on to record two of her songs, “No Time To Cry” and the gospel-tinged “The Shores of Jordan.” She’s recorded and toured extensively with John Prine, singing four duets with him on the release In Spite of Ourselves. In 2004 she recorded the gospel album Lifeline. One of the songs caught on that album was her rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” the song the Coen Brothers selected to run over the closing credits of their remake of the classic western “True Grit.” Twenty-three years after her debut album Infamous Angel, DeMent released The Trackless Woods, a collection of 18 poems written by the late Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, which DeMent set to her music.

DeMent’s performance at the EIU is part of the Doudna Fine Arts Center’s 2019-2020 performance season. Those who are interested in this event or other performances at Doudna can see a list of premier performances on the Doudna Fine Art Center’s website at

Tickets for the Iris DeMent concert are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors (62+), and $10 for students, and can be purchased online at or at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Box Office. The Doudna Box Office is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and one hour prior to each ticketed performance.

The Doudna Fine Arts Center is located at 1860 South 7th Street in Charleston on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. Convenient, free parking is located near the fine arts center. To arrange accommodations for those needing special assistance, contact Doudna Fine Arts Patron Services at (217) 581-3110 or email

For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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