Other than a handful of guest appearances, Americana legend Iris DeMent hasn’t released new music since her 2015 album The Trackless Woods, a collection of Anna Akhmatova poems set to original music. But DeMent is back today in a big way with “Going Down To Sing In Texas,” a lengthy rambler that’s a lot more serious than its casual, jazzy piano groove lets on.
Over the course of nine minutes, DeMent addresses police brutality, George W. Bush (“What’s the deal with all these war criminals who get to walk around free?”), Islamophobia, progressive protesters (“I’m so proud of all of these young people for taking it to the streets”), gun control, Jeff Bezos (“Ain’t we all just a little bit tired of greedy people getting a free pass?”), the Chicks, the Squad, and Jesus Christ (“He spoke truth to power, he stood up for the poor/ The church today wouldn’t even let him through the door”) among other things.
It’s a hell of a song, clear and direct yet artful in its conversational ease. Never forget that DeMent can go toe to toe with songwriting legends like her old duet partner John Prine. Hear “Going Down To Sing In Texas” below.
“Going Down To Sing In Texas” is out now. Proceeds from sales at Bandcamp will benefit The Poor People’s Campaign and food banks.