Saturday, September 26, 2009

John Prine and Iris Dement's duets on "In Spite of Ourselves"

In 1999, John Prine released In Spite of Ourselves, a brilliant album of duets with nine of his favorite female singers and an excellent group of musicians backing him up. The record was a collection of classic country covers that tells the story of the many ups and downs of a relationship. Mostly downs though since there are a ton of great cheating songs at the core of this album. John had some incredible duet partners for this, including Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Patty Loveless. The highlight of In Spite of Ourselves though, and his classic concert promoting the album on the late great cable show Sessions at West 54th, were the songs he sang with Iris Dement, one of the most talented singer/songwriters to come from the country genre in the past 20 years.

Here are three of their duets from the best episode of Sessions at West 54th, followed by the studio tracks from In Spite of Ourselves.

John Prine w/ Iris Dement -We're Not the Jet Set

John Prine w/ Iris Dement -
Let's Invite Them Over Again

The best song on the album was the title track, the only song on the record that was a John Prine original. It was originally written for what became the unreleased Billy Bob Thornton film Daddy and Them, as he explains in a funny bit at the beginning of the video. This is the rare song that somehow manages to be hilarious, poignant, and beautiful and it is one of my all time favorites.

John Prine w/ Iris Dement - In Spite of Ourselves

If you don't own it, you should definitely pick up the John Prine DVD Live from Sessions at West 54th here, but in the meantime, here is one big mp3 file of the five songs John and Iris sang together that night.

John Prine w/ Iris Dement - Five Live Songs from Sessions at West 54th

If you'd like to listen to more from Iris Dement, check out a previous post on this blog abour her first album Infamous Angel right here.

Look for plenty more posts about John Prine and Iris Dement on this blog in the future. Thanks for checking this out.

Buy John Prine's In Spite of Ourselves from


  1. I do own that DVD, and I treasure it. Just saw John Prine live in Kansas City. The only time I ever had tickets to see Iris, she cancelled (in Iowa City).

  2. Love love love "In Spite of Ourselves."

    Its classic Prine: crude, sweet and hilarious.

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