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Tift Merritt

Singer/songwriter Tift Merritt seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the spring of 2002 with her acclaimed debut album Bramble Rose, but as is often the case, this triple-threat artist -- a gifted singer, superb songwriter, and skillful guitarist -- actually has plenty of experience under her belt. Born in Houston, Texas, in 1975, Merritt's family moved to North Carolina when she was young and she's lived there ever since. Merritt first developed an interest in music when she was a child and learned to sing harmonies with her father, who had dabbled in folk music in his younger days; in her early teens, she picked up a guitar and her dad taught her her first four chords. While Merritt was drawn to the rebellious spirit of punk and indie rock, she felt a greater emotional connection with more acoustic-oriented artists, particularly Joni Mitchell (Merritt once told a reporter, "I went through a Joni Mitchell phase -- and all girls go through a Joni Mitchell phase; if any girl tells you she never did, don't believe her."). Hearing Emmylou Harris' album Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town opened Merritt's ears to roots music and she soon began to immerse herself in North Carolina's active alt-country scene. Merritt began appearing on a semi-regular basis with the band the Two Dollar Pistols, singing duets with lead singer John Howie and playing rhythm guitar; she eventually appeared on a seven-song EP of classic country covers the group released in the fall of 1999. Looking for a vehicle for her own songwriting, Merritt had formed a band called the Carbines in 1998 with drummer Zeke Hutchins, guitarist Greg Reading, and bassist Jay Brown; the band soon became a fixture on the North Carolina club scene and they released a well-received 7" single.

Between the Carbines and the Two Dollar Pistols, Merritt was becoming a popular figure in the North Carolina roots music community and in early 2000, Merritt and the Carbines seemed poised to sign a contract with Sugar Hill Records. The deal fell through at the last minute, but when Merritt won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at the annual 2000 Merlefest Music Festival, it sparked a new round of interest in her work. Fellow North Carolina native Ryan Adams brought Merritt to the attention of his manager, Frank Callari, and he began shopping a record deal for her; when he was hired as an A&R executive for the Universal-distributed roots music label Lost Highway, Merritt became one of his first signings. (While Merritt was signed as a solo act, she's continued to use the Carbines as her backing band, both for live shows and for the recording of Bramble Rose). Her debut album was released to enthusiastic reviews in June 2002. The George Drakoulias-produced Tambourine appeared two years later, followed by Another Country in 2008, and the live Buckingham Solo in 2009, both on Fantasy Records. Traveling Alone, recorded in Brooklyn and featuring guest spots from Marc Ribot, Andrew Bird, and others, appeared in the fall of 2012. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Pandora Whiteboard Session: October 5, 2013

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Track List: To Myself (Single)

Comments

Laid A Highway is absolutely brilliant
bojo1201
Wanna know how good Tift is? Her birthday is the same as Elvis's!
Some one very special. extraordinar y song writing and arrangements . when u coming to Hawaii? I would break down doors to get in
always been something special
My uncle was in your 2nd grade class! His name was Paul Lara!!!!!!
She is incredible.. . o f t e n compared to Bonnie Raitt, Alison Kraus, Maria McKee, or Mary Chapin Carpenter. On the surface she does bear some resemblence to these artists, but she really is a true original, injecting an undercurrent of soul into her music that is nearly unheard of in these days of American Idols and manufactured pop. Great vocalist and guitarist, wonderful lyricist and songwriter and storyteller!
I learned of Tift Merritt just recently in an appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly...and I feel completely robbed knowing that she has been putting out music for nearly a decade without me knowing about it. Well, I've been listening to almost nothing else since. .
some person is a blessed person
Tift and good ole Jewel are my favorites and Sarah McLaughlin (sp) as well ... lew
Saw her open for Mary Chapin Carpenter a couple weeks ago . . . . she was the better of the two. And she is beatiful.
Beatiful (coined by Charlie Porter). That's a good one.
if bonnie raitt allison kraus and jonie mitchell were in a blender you might get tift...i love her lyrics
Great voice, excellent musicians. Love the Tift!!
girlkira
Tift is amazing-- i saw her live a couple weeks ago and i was blown away. She is amazingly talented. If you have a chance to see her live, GO SEE HER!
love her has a great sound, not to mention, very beatiful
spinozablue
Very nice. Sounds sorta like a cross between Emmylou Harris and Norah Jones. But she rocks a bit more than they do. Pandora is very good at "finding them".
janis joplin like ?? nice voice tks jtja
One of the most animated story tellers I've heard in quite a while It seems to ease the worried sole.
not only does tift merritt have the voice of an angel,but she has a charisma that rivets one's attention to her as she performs!
keep up the good work, meaningful lyrics
you should translate the lyrics into English for non french speakers, n'est pas.....
I enjoy the energy she puts forth and cant even compare her to Olivia Newton John.
drumb13 - who would you recommend in the genre? You must have high standards, as Tift Merritt is quite good. I'm not being flippant...w h o do you suggest?
kind of boring to me. Very regular.
Yeah - Tift is just like Olivia Newton John. Except that she doesn't suck.
haha you suck
saraheehee
kind of reminds me of Olivia Newton-John.
carolbuttenh a m
I used to work on a cruise ship where you are often cut off from the rest of the world. Someone gave me Bramble Rose, said she was the next big thing out of Nashville, I had never heard of her but listened to that CD over and over and over again...
and I love NC, so I love her and her success even more
Wow, Tift is blowing up! Love it
Good to see you on Pandora Tift, your voice is as inspirationa l as ever. I remember Pittsboro with you and Zeke, how far we have come. Keep it up.
cedarshaker
Wow! I wish she could sing me to sleep every night.
Wow! thanks Pandora for turning us on to this tear inducing voice! i am hooked. ps, tift, joni's the bomb.
I would provide the coffee and lyrics(L)... if she would provide the melodies(M) for some great life songs.She performs her music with feelings through her eyes and emotions from her heart....a really superb combination not to mention a serious voice!Allows one to see into her spirit. A pleasant,smo o t h journey.
I first saw Tift at the Bynum General Store, outside, about two years ago. I went because a friend said I had to, while I could still see her local. I was blown away...no sound system to speak of, not much of a stage, families in folding aluminum chairs, kids running around. Hot dogs and NC Barbeque for $2. She stood up there with her guitar and belted it out with heart and style. I love finding you on Pandora! You go, girl!
timmerscott
I thought I heard Joplin's ghost in her voice. Wow!
One can only wish success for Tift. Hope it all goes well. Much Love.
I LOVE Tift...Kathl e e n Edwards and Patty Griffin smushed together.
way cool. I saw her on direct tv show live concert, impressive, easy on the eye to, what a plus.
amazing artist.....c r i s p y twangy patty griffin!
If anyone gets a chance to see a performance of her on Austin City Limits, Don't miss it...A great show.
Tift is a great talent! Unknown, but a great songwriter and a sweet voice.
She is hot!!!!!!!!

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