North Carolina-bred alt-country singer Tift Merritt went to Paris, holed up in a studio apartment with a piano, and wrote Another Country, the 2008 follow-up to her GRAMMY®-nominated second album Tambourine. Yet, this is not an album of parlor room piano ballads. With Black Crowes and Jayhawks producer George Drakoulias organizing all-star guitarists Charlie Sexton and Doug Pettibone alongside Tift’s longtime band, Another Country is a light, natural, and flowing collection of songs where Merritt’s sweet twists of melody take her conversational lyrics and ride them out from the morning light into the struggle of the day. The band keeps a safe distance, never overpowering the sentiments. The serene pulse behind “Keep You Happy” creeps up steadily and slowly, as Merritt offers sweet assurance. While her singing is confident throughout, listen closely and the self-doubt that lingers underneath the surface of “I Know What I’m Looking for Now” leaks out over the calming organ chords, just as her inner resolve rescues the disappointments of “Broken” from overwhelming her. Merrittt’s an elusive, emotionally complex performer.