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Tift Merritt Biography

Tift Merritt Biography

Tift Merritt (born January 8, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter. Born in Houston, Texas, Merritt moved to North Carolina at a young age. Merritt began her career playing small clubs in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. In 1999, she released a 7-song EP with the Two Dollar Pistols, led by John Howie, Jr. The EP was very much a country music compilation as it featured two original songs and five covers, including Charley Pride's "I'm So Afraid of Losing You Again". In 2002, after signing with the Lost Highway label, Merritt released her debut album Bramble Rose to wide critical acclaim, including selection by Time as one of the top-10 CDs of the year. The Times called it "the best release by a new artist, in any genre." While this first release was largely an alt-country affair, her follow-up release, 2005's Tambourine, took her in more of a rock/soul direction. The album was produced by famed roots rock producer George Drakoulias and featured backing by Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell (of the Heartbreakers) and Don Heffington (of Emmylou Harris's Hot Band and Lone Justice). Tambourine was honored with a 2004 Country Album of the Year Grammy nomination. 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.

In 2005, Merritt released a live album called Home Is Loud, which was recorded on June 4, 2005, in North Carolina. On January 21, 2006, Merritt appeared on Austin City Limits, the live music program on PBS. The show featured five songs recorded live in Austin, Texas, on October 20, 2005. Merritt has also appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. An uncut DVD of the Austin City Limits performance, Live from Austin, TX, was released by New West Records on October 30, 2007. Tift Merritt signed a new record contract with Fantasy Records on June 25, 2007 and recorded her third full-length studio album, Another Country, in L.A. with George Drakoulias producing in the summer of 2007. Another Country was released in Australia February 22, Norway February 25, February 26, 2008 in the U.S. and Canada, and will be released in April in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. An artist-to-artist radio interview program written and hosted by Merritt called The Spark With Tift Merritt debuted on January 27, 2008. The Spark will air monthly for the time being is is also available as streaming audio on Marfa Public Radio's website, and as a podcast.

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