Tift Merritt

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Tift Merritt
Merritt on stage in Silk Hope, NC in 2007.
Background information
Birth nameCatherine Tift Merritt[1]
Born (1975-01-08) January 8, 1975 (age 44)[2]
Houston, Texas
OriginRaleigh, North Carolina, United States
GenresCountry Folk, Americana, Alternative Country
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1998–present
LabelsLost Highway, Fantasy, Yep Roc
Associated actsThe Two Dollar Pistols with Tift Merritt

Catherine Tift Merritt (born January 8, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She has released seven studio albums, two for Lost Highway Records, two for Fantasy Records, and three for Yep Roc Records.

Early life and education[edit]

Merritt was born in Houston and grew up in Raleigh.[2] She credits her father's eclectic taste in music as a major influence.[3] At the age of 20, Merrit enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study creative writing.[4]


Merritt joined a band called the Carbines and played small clubs in cities of Chapel Hill and Raleigh.[5] In 1998, the band released a 7-inch single, "Jukejoint Girl," and in 1999 the album The Two Dollar Pistols with Tift Merritt on Yep Roc Records.[6]

In 2000, Merrit won the MerleFest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest[7] and in 2002 released her debut album, Bramble Rose. The record landed on the top ten lists for both Time and The New Yorker, and was called the best debut of the year by the Associated Press.[8] 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.[9]

Her follow-up release, 2004's Tambourine, was produced by George Drakoulias and featured backing by Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, Neal Casal and Don Heffington.[citation needed] The album was nominated for a best country album Grammy Award in 2004.[10] She was nominated for Americana Music Association: Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Song of the Year in 2005[11] Merritt's performance on Austin City Limits was released as a DVD on New West Records.[12] A sold-out concert at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina, was released under the title Home Is Loud that same year.[13]

Another Country[edit]

Released on Fantasy Records in 2008, Another Country featured guitarist Charlie Sexton. Merritt wrote the album in a Paris apartment.[14][15] Paste magazine gave the album a four-star review.[16] The song "Broken" was nominated for an Americana Music Award for Song of the Year.[17][18][19] While touring England, Merritt recorded the album Buckingham Solo, which was released on Fantasy Records in April 2009.[citation needed]

Merritt on stage in Seattle during 2010

Her EP, Please Break the Silence of the Middle of the Night, was released later in 2008.[citation needed]

Merritt has been the opening act for Joan Baez,[20] Kris Kristofferson,[21] and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" for then-Senator Barack Obama at his last campaign rally.[22]

See You on the Moon[edit]

Merritt's album, See You on the Moon, was released in June 2010 on Fantasy Records.[23][24]

The album "Traveling Alone" was released in October 2012, her first album released on Yep Roc Records.[citation needed]


Merrit's sound has been described as "sonic short stories and poignant performances."[25] She has been compared to artists like Joni Mitchell[26] and Emmylou Harris.[27]

A review in The New Yorker praised her[27] and The Wall Street Journal included her in a weekend feature on singer-songwriters, describing her as "in the tradition of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen".[26]

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, Merritt married Zeke Hutchins.[28] They separated in late 2013.[29]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US Country
US Heat
US Indie
US Folk
Bramble Rose 47
  • Release date: August 24, 2004
  • Label: Lost Highway Records
Another Country 156 1
See You on the Moon
  • Release date: June 1, 2010
  • Label: Fantasy Records
6 7
Traveling Alone
  • Release date: September 17, 2012
  • Label: Yep Roc
10 46 12
Night (with Simone Dinnerstein) - - - - -
Traveling Companion (Traveling Alone expanded version)
  • Release date: October, 2013
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
Stitch of the World
  • Release date: January 27, 2017
  • Label: Yep Roc Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
Home Is Loud
  • Release date: 2005
  • Label: RCAM
Buckingham Solo
  • Release date: June 23, 2009
  • Label: Vella Recordings

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
The Two Dollar Pistols with Tift Merritt
Please Break the Silence of the
Middle of the Night
  • Release date: September 16, 2008
  • Label: Fantasy Records
Sweet Spot
  • Release date: January 24, 2012
  • Label: Yep Roc


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country[1]
2002 "Virginia, No One Can Warn You" Bramble Rose
2003 "Trouble Over Me"
2004 "Good Hearted Man" 60 Tambourine
"Stray Paper"
2008 "Broken" Another Country
2010 "Mixtape" See You On The Moon
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2002 "Virginia, No One Can Warn You" Douglas Avery[36]
2004 "Good Hearted Man" Philip Andelman[37]
2008 "Broken" Martyn Atkins[38]
2010 "Engine to Turn" John Hulme[39]

Appears on[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Result
2004 47th Grammy Awards Country Album of the Year – Tambourine Nominated
2005 Americana Music Association Album of the Year – Tambourine Nominated
Artist of the Year Nominated
Song of the Year – "Good Hearted Man" Nominated
2008 Americana Music Association Song of the Year – "Broken" Nominated


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 275. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
  2. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Tift Merritt: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  3. ^ "Interview: Tift Merritt brings soulful rock to Louisville's Waterfront Wednesday [Music". Louisville.com. July 21, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  4. ^ [1] Archived July 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Kast, Sheilah. "Tift Merritt Performs in NPR's Studio 4A". NPR. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  6. ^ "Yep Roc Records > Store". Store.yeproc.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners Archived July 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Product Categories". Grand Central Music. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  9. ^ Harrington, Richard (April 15, 2005). "Start of rightcontent.inc". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ Kast, Sheilah (November 7, 2004). "'Tambourine,' Tift Merritt's 'Rock Soul Throwdown'". NPR. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  11. ^ "Tift Merritt". ABC Country. August 24, 2009. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  12. ^ "Live From Austin TX: Tift Merritt: Tift Merritt: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  13. ^ "Blue Rose Records". Bluerose-records.de. Archived from the original on April 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  14. ^ Franco, Michael (February 25, 2008). "I Felt Like Another Country Myself: An Interview with Tift Merritt < PopMatters". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  15. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 9, 2007). "A Tribute to Bob Dylan, Both Reverent and Rowdy". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "See You on the Moon" (PDF). Concordmusicgroup.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  17. ^ "Americana Music Awards – Nominees for the 2008 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards". Folkmusic.about.com. September 18, 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  18. ^ "Edmonton Folk Music Festival/Festival Archive". Official Website. Edmonton Folk Music Festival. 2010. pp. Festival Archive/Past Performers 2009 (M). Archived from the original on December 14, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  19. ^ "Blitzen Trapper adds dates to summer outing". Livedaily.com. May 14, 2010. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  20. ^ "Joan Baez Appears on Pier Tonight". Santa Monica Dispatch. July 9, 2009. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  21. ^ [2] Archived January 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "On the Beat: David Menconi on music – Tift Merritt sings for change | newsobserver.com blogs". Blogs.newsobserver.com. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  23. ^ Overdub Lane
  24. ^ "Tift Merritt's 'See You on the Moon' Gets Tracked And Covered". Music.mync.com. March 23, 2010. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  25. ^ "Full Album: Tift Merritt – See You On The Moon". Wxrt.radio.com. February 6, 2010. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Jurgensen, John (August 13, 2010). "The Secrets of Songwriters". The Wall Street Journal.
  27. ^ a b Greenman, Ben. "Tift Merritt's "See You on the Moon," review". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  28. ^ Jones, Amy (July 16, 2010). "Tift Merritt makes her own brand of music at Asheville's Orange Peel". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved 2010-07-16.[dead link]
  29. ^ "Tift Merritt's homecoming show centers on 'Bramble Rose' album". newsobserver. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  30. ^ "Tift Merritt Album & Song Chart History: Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  31. ^ "Tift Merritt Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  32. ^ "Tift Merritt Album & Song Chart History: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  33. ^ "Tift Merritt Album & Song Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  34. ^ "Tift Merritt Album & Song Chart History: Folk Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  35. ^ Bjorke, Matt (March 5, 2017). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: March 6, 2017". Roughstock.
  36. ^ "CMT : Videos: Tift Merritt : Virginia, No One Can Warn You". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  37. ^ "CMT : Videos : Tift Merritt : Good Hearted Man". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  38. ^ "CMT : Videos: Tift Merritt : Broken". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  39. ^ "Engine to Turn". Vimeo. Retrieved 2013-02-03.

External links[edit]