12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Texas-born, North Carolina-bred Tift Merritt plays singer-songwriter based alt-country, aware of its roots but not beholden to the traditions. This solo live album recorded at Buckingham, England’s Radcliffe Center in 2008 is an unvarnished look into the young performer’s repertoire to date. (She has released three studio albums at this point.) Accompanying herself on piano and acoustic guitar, Merritt is powerfully effective in this stripped-down setting. The sparse presentation puts the spotlight firmly on her soaring voice that carries more than a little country-western ache. However, it’s the piano-based tunes (“Another Country,” “Tender Branch,” Still Pretending”) that yield the most revelatory performances. Merritt once joked that all young female singer-songwriters go through a “Joni Mitchell phase” and it’s apparent that her arrangements were inspired in part by Blue-era Mitchell. Merritt leans heavily on her previous album, 2008’s Another Country, drawing six tunes from that album, with a cover of George Harrison’s “I Live For You” and one new song “Do Something Good” to fill things out.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Texas-born, North Carolina-bred Tift Merritt plays singer-songwriter based alt-country, aware of its roots but not beholden to the traditions. This solo live album recorded at Buckingham, England’s Radcliffe Center in 2008 is an unvarnished look into the young performer’s repertoire to date. (She has released three studio albums at this point.) Accompanying herself on piano and acoustic guitar, Merritt is powerfully effective in this stripped-down setting. The sparse presentation puts the spotlight firmly on her soaring voice that carries more than a little country-western ache. However, it’s the piano-based tunes (“Another Country,” “Tender Branch,” Still Pretending”) that yield the most revelatory performances. Merritt once joked that all young female singer-songwriters go through a “Joni Mitchell phase” and it’s apparent that her arrangements were inspired in part by Blue-era Mitchell. Merritt leans heavily on her previous album, 2008’s Another Country, drawing six tunes from that album, with a cover of George Harrison’s “I Live For You” and one new song “Do Something Good” to fill things out.

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