Iris DeMent, The Great American Music Hall, a couple of dates including October, 1996. I'm not totally clear about Iris ... we saw her at least twice, and had tickets for one other show that we had to give away (conflicted with a Bruce concert). The 1996 show was the second time we saw her, I know that. For that 1996 show, she was touring behind The Way I Should. My memory is that album was considered a disappointment, but I never agreed ... it's just that the two albums that preceded it, Infamous Angel and My Life, were so great they were hard to top. She didn't release another album for eight years, and that one featured church tunes she remembered from her mother (there was one original song). Eight years later, she gave us another album, this one of originals, her first in sixteen years. The easy explanation is writer's block, but I don't know if she would agree. It's not that she was inactive in those years ... she recorded with other artists, including several songs with John Prine that appeared on In Spite of Ourselves (a wonderful album, and DeMent is one reason).
Here's her first classic, a song from her debut album:
From The Tonight Show in 1994, the title song of My Life. I'm pretty sure this is around the time we saw her for the first time.
Her third album, The Way I Should, was her "political" album and featured a more rockish sound. People who wanted to hear more country folk songs about "life" were unhappy, and this song in particular pissed off a lot of conservatives:
Finally, here she is with John Prine: