The New Yorker has called Merritt “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry.”
Such standard upholding got underway in earnest with Bramble Rose, the 2002 solo debut that put her on the Americana map forever. Merritt found acclaim coming not just from critics and awards but her own heroes, like Emmylou Harris, who marveled that Merritt “stood out like a diamond in a coal patch.”
Now a leading lady in her own right, Merritt is hardly one to hog the spotlight. She engages in dialogue with fellow artists of all disciplines on her public radio broadcast and podcast “The Spark With Tift Merritt,” bringing in fellow sojourners ranging from Patty Griffin and Rosanne Cash to Rick Moody and Nick Hornby (who devoted a chapter to Merritt in his 31 Songs book).
Merritt charts her own course as her latest release, “Traveling Alone” elegantly shows. Writes The Washington Post: “…exceptional songcraft and haunting voice, making the album all the more rewarding. Merritt’s aim was to record something “real and raw,” but “Traveling Alone” is far more than that. If she hasn’t achieved the commercial success she deserves, perhaps it’s because she seems incapable of writing a formulaic or unfelt song. She has more in common with an artist such as Joni Mitchell than most of the Nashville crowd, and her latest lyrics underscore that fact with grace and economy. ”
Time Magazine writes: “Merritt’s achingly beautiful country-tinged tunes hark back to the musical work of Joni Mitchell, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Leonard Cohen. Merritt was nominated for a Grammy for her 2004 release Tambourine. She may duplicate that feat with this new, inspired release.”
“ Steel-laced country-soul only hints at the sublime charms of Merritt’s ‘Traveling Alone’ – USA Today
Don’t miss Tift Merritt on Bainbridge Island at last!
This is a Solo Acoustic show.
Check out Tift live in studio on WNRN Radio.