TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

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TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 12:51 am

Hi I'm Tift. Hope you are all well.
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  SaintMike on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:29 am

Great to see you here Tift!



From Wikipedia...

Catherine Tift Merritt (born January 8, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and North Carolina native. With her longtime band, she has built what has been called a "unique" and critically acclaimed body of work of "sonic short stories and poignant performances." She has been compared to songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris.

Merritt has released two studio albums for Lost Highway Records and two for Fantasy Records. Her live albums so far are Home Is Loud released in 2005 and Buckingham Solo released in 2009.



Merritt was born in Houston but her family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina soon after. Her father taught her guitar chords and how to play piano by ear to Percy Sledge and Bob Dylan songs, and she sang harmonies with him as a child. His eclectic record collection of soul, folk, R&B, rock, and country music records influenced her both then and later; she credits his "genreless" taste with influencing her to write and perform without regard to genre herself.

In her early twenties, though she had performed solo in public, Merritt has said she decided she was better suited for writing short stories. She enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study creative writing. There, she met Zeke Hutchins, whose band had just taken a hiatus and who had decided instead to become a school teacher. "With his encouragement and a big box of LPs from the 1970s," Merritt and Hutchins agreed to form a band. Hutchins set up his drum kit in the kitchen of the farmhouse where Merritt lived, and they practiced songs at her piano.


TIFT WITH THE CARBINES

Merritt began her professional career with her band The Carbines playing small clubs in Chapel Hill and Raleigh such as The Cave, Cat's Cradle, and the front porch of the General Store in Bynum, NC. In 1998, The Carbines released a 7-inch single "Jukejoint Girl" b/w "Cowboy". In 1999, Merritt made a guest appearance on a seven-song EP on the by Yep Rock label with the Two Dollar Pistols, led by John Howie, Jr. The record was called The Two Dollar Pistols with Tift Merritt. The EP featured two original tunes and five cover songs. In 2000, she won MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, found a manager, and signed a contract with Lost Highway Records.

In 2002, Merritt released her debut album, Bramble Rose, containing eleven original songs recorded with her long-time band and produced by Ethan Johns. The record landed on the top ten lists for both Time and the The New Yorker, and was called the best debut of the year in any genre by the Associated Press. A song from the album, "Trouble Over Me", was featured in writer Nick Hornby's 31 Songs. While touring to promote Bramble Rose, Merritt opened for fellow North Carolinian Ryan Adams, who had helped her secure her first management and record contracts.



Her follow-up release, 2004's Tambourine, was produced by George Drakoulias and featured backing by Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Neal Casal and Don Heffington (of Emmylou Harris's Hot Band and Lone Justice). Tambourine was honored with a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Country Album nomination, though its sound was frequently described in quite different terms, such as "rock-soul throwdown". In 2005, Merritt and Tambourine were also nominated for three Americana Music Awards by the Americana Music Association: Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year for "Good Hearted Man". During the tour to promote Tambourine, Merritt opened for Elvis Costello and recorded Austin City Limits—a performance later released as a DVD by New West Records. The sold-out homecoming concert for the tour—at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina—was recorded for a live album release; Home Is Loud was released in 2005 and re-released by the German label Blue Rose Records with bonus tracks in November 2009.

After extensive touring behind Tambourine, Merritt rented an apartment in Paris, where she wrote the songs that would become 2008's Another Country album. Before signing with a new label and making that record, Merritt performed Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" at the I'm Not There tribute concert at New York City's Beacon Theater on November 7, 2007, with guitarist Joe Henry. According to the New York Times review, Merritt had "the night's purest voice."



Released on Fantasy Records in 2008, Another Country featured the core of Merritt's long-time band, along with guitarist Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), and again with Drakoulias at the helm. Another Country continued the trend of high-profile favorable press for Merritt's releases. Emmylou Harris said, "I first heard Tift Merritt some years ago during a writers' night at a small club. She stood out like a diamond in a coal patch and everyone there knew she carried a promise of great things to come. She has more than fulfilled that promise with Another Country." Paste magazine gave the album a four-star review, calling Merritt "a force to be reckoned with in any genre she approaches." The song "Broken" from Another Country was nominated for an Americana Music Award for Song of the Year. The Another Country tour played the Newport Folk Festival, Bonaroo, and in 2009, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and MerleFest. On the Another Country tour, Merritt made runs in both the U.S. and the UK with fellow singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson.

Buckingham Solo, recorded in England, is an intimate acoustic solo concert recording made during the Another Country touring, and released on the Fantasy label in April 2009.

Please Break the Silence of the Middle of the Night, an iTunes EP, was released later in 2008. The EP contains two alternate versions of songs from Another Country, a cover of George Harrisons "I Live For You", an outtake from the Another Country sessions , "Last To Know", and "Wayward And Weary," recorded for the film Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.



Performance highlights of the later Another Country tour and immediately after it included opening an outdoor show in Santa Monica, California for folk singer Joan Baez, opening the Pine Cone Winter Music Festival in her hometown of Raleigh for Kris Kristofferson, and singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" for then-Senator Barack Obama at his last campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina before winning the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

Merritt recorded the follow-up to 2008's Another Country [29] in Durham with producer Tucker Martine. The album, See You On The Moon, was released June 1, 2010 on Fantasy Records. My Morning Jacket frontman Yim Yames (Jim James) is featured on the track "Feel of the World". Again, a review in The New Yorker specified moments on the record to other singers, including Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins, and additionally U2; and The Wall Street Journal included her in a weekend feature on singer-songwriters, placing her "in the tradition of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen.

Touring for Moon began in June of 2010 and continueed for over a year in North America, Europe, and the UK. In addition to headlining dates in North America and the UK, Merritt has supported Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Amos Lee, Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Iron & Wine, and Gregg Allman.


ON THE RIGHT OF A LINE-UP FOR FHM MAGAZINE

Merritt is also a photographer; her first gallery exhibition, Other Countries, ran at The Mahler Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina in May 2009. She also hosts an artist-to-artist interview radio show called The Spark with Tift Merritt which is produced by KRTS in Marfa, Texas, and whose guests have included Nick Hornby, Kiki Smith, and poet C. K. Williams among others. Episodes of The Spark stream on the show's website and are available as a free podcast.

In 2009, Merritt married Zeke Hutchins, her band's drummer and her long-time partner, in New York City, where they currently reside.



In addition to Austin City Limits, Merritt has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman. Her music has appeared in The L Word, Men In Trees, United States of Tara and the film New in Town. She has also written two songs for the upcoming animated film Dorothy of Oz, starring Lea Michele and Dan Aykroyd, set for release in early 2012.


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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  SaintMike on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:36 am

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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  SaintMike on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:42 am

At the moment we have a number of other Country singers doing this for us....Amy Dalley, Shelly Fairchild, Chelsea Crowell, Sherrie Austin and the Rankin Twins. Do you know any of them? Do you have an open personal message for any of them?


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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  SaintMike on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:43 am

When you were a child who do you think influenced you? When you started singing who did you want to be?

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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  North End Mam on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:44 am

Hi
Have you ever visited the UK? if you have, what memories do you have of the country?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  North End Mam on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:45 am

Do you have any ideas about how you want your music to progress? Do you plan to change direction in any way?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Jillyanne on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:47 am

Have you written many songs? Have any of your songs been sung or recorded by other artists?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Jillyanne on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:47 am

Are there any singers you would particularly like to sing or record with?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Jillyanne on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:48 am

Hi, you always look so lovely, I envy your looks so much. Does it come naturally or do you have to work hard to keep looking like that?

Is there any part of your looks that you're particularly proud of? And are there any bits you would like to change???
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  saint marie on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:49 am

Hi there! Are you superstitious? Are there any things you do or wear for good luck?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  saint marie on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:50 am

Which are your favourite songs?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  saint marie on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:50 am

In your time in the music business to date, which gigs have you found most exciting? Which do you think have been your best shows?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  DellBoy on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:52 am

I don't think I've heard your music yet. Which CD would you recommend I should buy to get to know your work? And have you appeared on a DVD yet?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  DellBoy on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:53 am

Have there been times that things have not gone quite right? Any embarrassing moments you can tell us about?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  DellBoy on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:54 am

You are surely a goodlooking and sexy young woman. I love the FHM pictures of you....very nice indeed! Have you done more pictures like that?

Have you done any modelling or thought about going into that line of work?
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  SaintsChick on Sat 03 Sep 2011, 1:59 am

Answer these so we can see what makes you tick?

1. Do friends have a pet name or nickname for you?

2. At school were you well-behaved or how did you get in trouble?

3 What hobbies do you pursue? Do you play any sports?

4 Do you drive? What would be your ideal car to drive?

5 If you were offered a part in a TV series, which series would you choose?

6 Who are your favourite singers/groups (past or present)?

7 Do you dance on stage?

8. What product would you like to be given a contract to advertise?

9 Do you have any pets?

10 What is your favourite meal? And favourite drink?

11 If you had not become famous what jobs would you have liked to do?

12. What musical instruments do you play?

13. Which colours do you prefer wearing?

14. In private life are you happier in jeans or skirts and dresses?

15. What do you prefer to sleep in? PJs, nighties or what?

16. What is your favourite perfume?

17. What is your ideal holiday/vacation?

18 Do you have a partner? Or children?

19 What is your favourite joke?

20 In 25 years from now what would you like to be doing?

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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:29 am

Better late than never, here you go....
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:30 am

SaintMike wrote:When you were a child who do you think influenced you? When you started singing who did you want to be?


My father taught me to play by ear. He influenced me the most. I would sit with him at the piano while he figured out old soul tunes or played harmonica.
Once I started playing myself, I listened non stop to be Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, & Emmylou Harris. I really wanted to be, most specifically, Eudora Welty.
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:32 am

North End Mam wrote:Hi
Have you ever visited the UK? if you have, what memories do you have of the country?


I've toured the UK many times, most recently with Gregg Allman. I think the great Whispering Bob is the biggest supporter I have. I like mushy peas.
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:33 am

North End Mam wrote:Do you have any ideas about how you want your music to progress? Do you plan to change direction in any way?


You never can tell, but it seems to get more down to essentials as I go. I hope it will deepen.

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Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:34 am

Jillyanne wrote:Are there any singers you would particularly like to sing or record with?


Tom Waits
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:35 am

saint marie wrote:Hi there! Are you superstitious? Are there any things you do or wear for good luck?


My grandmother had lots of superstitions and I love those kind of stories, so I do throw salt over my shoulder when I cook. I can't remember if it is left hand over right shoulder or the other way around, so I sometimes do both.
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:36 am

saint marie wrote:Which are your favourite songs?


Not a fair question. But Natural Woman & Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow are pretty top of the line. Dylan songs are always worth hearing over and over again.
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Re: TIFT MERRITT, singer-songwriter

Post  Tift Merritt on Sun 18 Sep 2011, 12:37 am

saint marie wrote:In your time in the music business to date, which gigs have you found most exciting? Which do you think have been your best shows?


I like playing theaters with pianos and good acoustics and people in the seats.
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