In the day and age of the Nashville country music machine, to call Tift Merritt a country singer-songwriter would be missing half of the story. Yes, she was born in Houston, Texas, and yes she has received a Grammy nomination for Country Album of the Year; there is nevertheless an ineffable something not-just-country about Merritt’s music.
Merritt creates characters and set pieces that are both new and vaguely familiar, evocative and innovative. Her album arrangements are polished, and she is known for intimate, intricate live performances. Merritt often performs with a faded red Gibson guitar with dents scratches as mysterious as the songwriter herself. Her songs range from dark and melancholy country ballads to uplifting folk, and even toe-tapping pop. Merritt is a rare talent that will have you dancing along to one song, and scrambling to find a lighter during the next.