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Considered “one of the great voices in contemporary popular music” (NPR),
Iris DeMent has returned with an album unlike any other in her illustrious
career. Featuring original music and melodies by Iris, The Trackless Woods
(August 7) sets 18 poems by acclaimed 20th
century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life.

Hailed as one of Russia's finest poets, Akhmatova survived the Bolshevik
Revolution, both World Wars and Stalin. She lost family, friends and fellow
writers to political killings and labor in the gulags. When Iris randomly
stumbled upon Akhmatova's work in a book of poetry a friend sent as a gift,
she was immediately taken by the sorrow and burden of the poems, juxtaposed with
Akhmatova's lig­htn­ess and transcendence in the face of inhumanity.

“Anna's gift of song is so strong, about alI I had to do was get really
quiet and listen,” says Iris. After reading that first poem the melodies began
pouring out of her, and before she even fully understood what was driving her,
Iris was gathering musicians and friends, including co-producer Richard Bennett
(Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Steve Earle), to record The Trackless Woods in
her living room over a five-day period.

The result is a breathtaking pairing of piano and voice in Iris' sui
generis style with timeless melodies that are deeply rooted in the American
South.The project also fulfilled a long yearned-for desire to connect with her
adopted daughter's culture and history. Iris and her husband adopted their
daughter from Siberia in 2005, and she says “I'd never have made this record
were it not for her.”

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  • Store location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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