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Tift Merritt

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Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt

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Description of Tift Merritt's Music:

Singer-songwriter, Americana, contemporary folk

Comparisons:

Probably because of her highly nuanced story songs and storycrafting in general, Tift Merritt has frequently been compared to folks like Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell. Her music could also be considered in the same realm as folks like Greg Brown, Kris Kristofferson, and Ani DiFranco. Indeed fans of each of those artists are likely to find something endearing and provocative about Merritt's music. Likewise, because of her modern approach to tradition, fans of Merritt might be interested in checking out the music of artists who embody a similar aesthetic: Dar Williams, Sara Watkins, KT Tunstall, and Laura Marling.

Recommended CDs:

Bramble Rose (Lost Highway Records, 2002) compare prices

Another Country (Fantasy Records, 2008) compare prices

See You On the Moon (Fantasy Records, 2010) compare prices

Purchase/Download Tift Merritt CDs:

"Sweet Spot" (from Sweet Spot)
"Virginia, No One Can Warn You" (from Bramble Rose)
"I am Your Tambourine" (from Tambourine)

Tift Merritt Biography:

Tift Merritt was born in Houston, Tex., in January 1975, but her family soon moved north to Raleigh, North Carolina. Her father was her earliest musical influence, exposing her to a wide array of folk, roots, and country legends from his extensive record collection. He also encouraged her pursuit of guitar early on, teaching her how to play along to songs on the stereo and exposing her to harmony singing.

In fact, Merritt's interest in songwriting evolved quite naturally and she started performing as a singer-songwriter when she was a teenager. But, after high school, she enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied creative writing. Around this time, she took a break from songwriting, interested instead in exploring what she was capable of achieving creatively through short stories. Of course, as fate would have it, while in college she met and befriended a drummer named Zeke Hutchins. They started making music together at her house and together they developed a band called the Carbines.

From there, her evolution into the singer-songwriter she has become, was imminent. The Carbines played frequently in the Triangle area of North Carolina and she lent her skills to a couple of other projects. Then, in 2000, she won the Chris Austin songwriting contest at MerleFest and inked a contract with Lost Highway Records. She released her debut, Bramble Rose in 2002 and soon earned considerable praise from national press, including the Associated Press and Time magazine.

The next album saw her collaborating with an all-star cast of Americana heroes, including keyboardist Benmont Tench, Neal Casal, and members of the bands which back Emmylou Harris and Tom Petty. The disc (Tambourine) earned a few Americana Music Association Award nominations including Album of the Year.

For her next album, she moved to Paris and focused on writing songs for Tambourine's follow-up. The new disc, titled appropriately Another Country was released on Fantasy Records, for whom she recorded two albums total before signing a contract with Yep Roc for her 2012 release Traveling Alone (due Oct 2012). Including that impending album, Meritt has released five recordings since her debut in 2002, has received one Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year (for Tambourine) and three Americana Music Association Award nominations for Album, Artist, and Song of the year (all for the same disc). She's toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe and has shared bills with some of the finest Americana artists around - Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Josh Ritter, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and others. Visit her website for more information and tour dates.

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