An evening with Iris DeMent!
I had the pleasure, last night, of going to The Belly Up Tavern, in Solana Beach, to meet up with No Depression’s own, writer Terry Paul Roland, and Rex De Long, musician, formerly of The Rumblers. We were going to see Iris DeMent, a wonderful singer, songwriter, and very talented musician.
I arrived approximately an hour before the show and spent my time talking with Mitch, the manager for Iris DeMent and John Prine, among others. Mitch and I swapped some John Prine stories and experiences, and discussed various leading guitarists John has used on his tours, including another gentleman I have had the pleasure of knowing, Jason Wilber. I also discussed with Mitch that I wanted Iris to sign my Seagull Acoustic guitar that I own, and he readily agreed!
When Terry and Rex arrived, we introduced ourselves and sat down and had some interesting and diverse conversation, from who’s ex might be showing up, to music, and even a discussion about Alzheimers, which, the way we were drawing blanks on some topics, we might want to look into further…:)
The setting at The Belly Up Tavern is a very intimate way for fans and friends to enjoy the music of the artists. There is not a bad seat in the house! And I must say the service was also excellent!
When Iris DeMent took the stage, at approximately 8:00 p.m, she greeted the audience warmly, and then proceeded to seat herself and began playing the Grand Piano, all while singing everything from folk and country, to some wonderful Gospel renditions! After a number of songs from her various albums, she move on to playing the acoustic guitar. Equally talented at both the guitar and piano, I found myself almost entranced by her music. A thought that occured to me while she was playing, was that it gave me the feeling of lying in the grass on a hill somewhere, daydreaming, with her music running through my head. I enjoyed it very much.
Iris returned to the piano and played out the completion of her set, came back on for an encore set, and then graciously bid the audience a good night.
After the show, Terry, Rex, and I, met up with Iris for some conversation about everything from music to Iowa, where she now resides with her husband! Iris was also very gracious in signing my guitar, even asking me, ” Are you sure you want me to do this?..it might lose it’s value..”, with a smile on her face! ” Heck yeah”, I thought, but said,” Yes,I would ” to her inquiry about signing my guitar! Somehow, I just think that guitar is going to sound better when I play it next time!! My personal thanks to you, Iris, for your hospitality and for signing my guitar. Your a class act and a woman of heart and substance!
The evening concluded with a few photos with Iris and I, Iris and Rex, photos of my shoe tops when I pulled the camera away too soon…lol, a hug from Iris, and Rex, Terry, and I, exchanging a some numbers and discussing possibly meeting up next month, at The Coach House, in San Juan Capistrano, to talk with, and listen to, Gordon Lightfoot, another great product from Canada. (along with my Seagull guitar!!).