Bramble Rose is the debut album by alternative country artist Tift Merritt. It was released on Lost Highway Records in 2002. It is also the name of Alela Diane's cat.
Category:Tift Merritt albums
Category:Lost Highway Records albumsThis text has been derived from Bramble Rose on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
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."http She has been compared to songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris.http
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.http 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.http
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.http Hutchins set up his drum kit in the kitchen of the farmhouse where Merritt lived, and they practiced songs at her piano.
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.http In 1998 The Carbines released a 7-inch single "Jukejoint Girl" b/w "Cowboy". In 1999, Merritt made a guest appearance on a 7"-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.http In 2000, she won MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest,http Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners 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.http A song from the album, "Trouble Over Me", was featured in writer Nick Hornby's 31 Songs.Nick Hornby, 31 Songs (London: Penguin Books Ltd., 2003), p. 193. 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 it's sound was frequently described in quite different terms, such as "rock-soul throwdown."http 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".http 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.http 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.http
After extensive touring behind Tambourine, Merritt rented an apartment in Paris, where she wrote the songs that would become 2008's Another Country album.http 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."http The song "Broken" from Another Country was nominated for an Americana Music Award for Song of the Year.http 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.http
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.http
Tift Merritt cs.jpgthumb220pxrightMerritt at Tractor Tavern, Seattle November 11, 2010 Photo: Kirk Stauffer
Please Break the Silence of the Middle of the Night, an iTunes EP, was released later in 2008.http 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,http opening the Pine Cone Winter Music Festival in her hometown of Raleigh for Kris Kristofferson,http 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.http
Merritt recorded the follow-up to 2008's Another Country 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."http 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 is scheduled to continue through the fall of 2010. In addition to headlining dates in North America and the UK, Merritt has supported or has plans to support Emmylou Harris, Amos Lee, Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, David Gray, and Ray LaMontagne.http
Merritt is also a photographer; her first gallery exhibition, Other Countries, ran at 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.http Episodes of The Spark stream on the show's 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.
Film & TV
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 , starring Lea Michele and Dan Aykroyd, set for release in early 2012.
Awards and nominations
NotesThis text has been derived from Tift Merritt on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0