Writers / Artists
Artist's Web Site: http://www.tiftmerritt.com
Songstress Tift Merritt is a North Carolina native. Her father taught her guitar chords and Percy Sledge songs. With her longtime band, she has built a unique and critically acclaimed body of work of sonic short stories and poignant performances. In her early twenties, though Tift had gigged by herself, she decided she was not very good at music and better suited for writing short stories. She and her dog Lucy started school at UNC to study creative writing. There, she met Zeke Hutchins, whose band had just taken a haitus and who had decided to become a school teacher. With his encouragement and a big box of LPs from the 70’s that they both liked, they started a band. Zeke set drums up in the kitchen of Tift’s farmhouse on the outskirts town, and they practiced songs at her red piano. The Carbines played Chapel Hill haunts. Tift won Merlefest’s Chris Austin Songwriting contest, and with the help of Ryan Adams, found herself with a manager and a recording contract with Lost Highway records. The band headed to LA to record her first release, Bramble Rose, in 2002, produced by Ethan Johns. The record landed on Time Magazine’s and New Yorker’s top ten lists and was called the best debut of the year in any genre by the Associated Press. Tambourine followed in 2004. Produced by George Drakoulias, featuring Mike Campbell of the Hearbreakers on guitar, Tambourine was a soul-rock throw down, Grammy-nominated for Country Album of the Year, even though it was really not a country album. It was also nominated for three Americana Music Awards. The tour opened for Elvis Costello, recorded Austin City Limits, releasing the performance as a live DVD, and made Home Is Loud, a document of the tour’s homecoming concert in Raleigh, NC. As the tour was winding down, Tift ran away to Paris looking for her mojo and, without intending to, started writing songs that would become Another Country. Another Country was released on Fantasy Records in 2008, again with George Drakoulias and her longtime band at the helm. Buckingham Solo, recorded in England, is an intimate concert behind Another Country, released on Fantasy in April 2009. Also in 2009, Tift had her first art exhibit, Other Countries, bringing the journals and pictures behind Another Country to light. Tift’s next two releases, See You On The Moon & Traveling Alone, both produced by Tucker Martine, are her most visceral works to date, and find her doing what she does best more directly – and better – than she ever has.
The time since the release of Traveling Alone found Merritt recording and touring with Andrew Bird in his Hands of Glory, MC Taylor’s Hiss Golden Messenger and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert each lent their distinctive voices to a brilliant cover of Tift’s 2002 song “Bramble Rose” on Don Henley’s #1 2015 Country Album, Cass County. Merritt workshopped songs on her upcoming album, Stitch of the World with longtime friend Sam Beam of Iron & Wine after bumping into him in an airport. The first two stunning singles, “Dusty Old Man” and “Love Soldiers On” were released ahead of her January 27th, 2017 release date via Yep Roc Records.
Traveling Alone BUY
See You On The Moon BUY
Another Country BUY
Bramble Rose BUY
Buckingham Solo Live BUY
Home Is Loud BUY
Little Birds (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) BUY
Traveling Alone Deluxe Edition BUY
Cass County BUY
Stitch of the World BUY