The North Carolina Museum of Art

Loudon Wainwright III and Iris DeMent

Saturday, July 12 | 8:00 pm
(Doors open at 6:30 pm)
$30 ($25 Members) Reserved
$24 ($19 Members) General admission
$12 Youth 7–18, General admission only
Children 6 and under free, General admission only
All bleacher seating reserved. Please no dancing, standing, or sitting in front of stage.

The NCMA welcomes two of America’s most distinctive and critically acclaimed singer-songwriters.

Born in Chapel Hill, Loudon Wainwright III is an artist of exceptional versatility. The most recent of his 22 albums, Older Than My Old Man Now, was one of NPR’s top 10 albums of 2012. High Wide & Handsome, inspired by North Carolina banjo player Charlie Poole, won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2010. And if you were around in the 1970s, his hit novelty song "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" is likely to be etched in your memory. Wainwright’s songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, the McGarrigle sisters (he was married to Kate McGarrigle and is the father of Rufus and Martha Wainwright), and other prominent artists.

Wainwright has also appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese, Hal Ashby, Christopher Guest, Tim Burton, Cameron Crowe, and Judd Apatow. He played Calvin Spalding, the singing surgeon, in the television version of M*A*S*H and has contributed music to movies and television shows.

Iris DeMent is an NCMA favorite. We agree with critic Ken Tucker that “Iris possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power.” Tucker was commenting on NPR about DeMent’s most recent album Sing the Delta, released in 2012. DeMent was born in rural Arkansas, the last of 14 children, and her vocal style reflects the early influence of gospel and traditional country music. But it’s the quality, honesty, and poignancy of her songwriting that raise her artistry to the highest power. She takes her time to make an album, letting inspiration take its course. The songs she began recording in the early 1990s for Infamous Angel and My Life still tug at the heartstrings, and her collaboration with John Prine on In Spite of Ourselves is joyous fun. Her recording of the beautiful hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" closes the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-nominated remake of True Grit.

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July 12, 2014