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Album of the Week: Workin' on a World by Iris DeMent

"Iris DeMent" in white writing and "WORKIN' On A WORLD" in red writing. Both are set over a dark background.
Ingrid Wiese
Workin' on a World Album Art

Workin' on a World by Iris DeMent is our Album of the Week March 10-16, 2023

On her new album, Iris DeMent grapples with the many conflicts of our modern society, but she hasn't lost hope.

The album, Workin' on a World, was made over a period of six years with help from her daughter Pieta Brown, one of three co-producers.

After recording sessions in 2019 and 2020, DeMent had almost given up on the project. Pieta Brown asked to hear the material from those sessions, and she soon told DeMent, "You have a record and it's called Workin' on A World!"

The title track opener sets the scene for the entire album. After realizing that many of the challenges she sees will not be fixed in her lifetime, she remains committed to working for change that could help future generations.

Throughout the album, DeMent makes reference to past leaders who have inspired her. "How Long" quotes Martin Luther King Jr. in its chorus. "Warriors of Love" highlights John Lewis and his march over Pettus Bridge. "Goin' Down To Sing In Texas", an eight-minute ramble over swinging piano chords, touches on everything from Jesus to The Chicks.

Thirty years after DeMent released her debut Infamous Angel, the folk singer continues to make interesting and relevant music rooted in old timey forms.

That is why it's our Album of the Week on Northern Community Radio.

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Malachy started his radio career at a college radio station, where he played weird music in the middle of the night to possibly no one. On a good night maybe his parents were listening. Nonetheless, he was hooked on public radio and is still doing it today. He joined Northern Community Radio in 2022, where he gets to share his passion for local music as Producer of Centerstage Minnesota, an all Minnesota music show airing Fridays at 2pm.