Tift Merritt: Newport Folk 2009 Merritt incorporates gospel, soul, '70s California rock 'n' roll and warm echoes of Joni Mitchell's brand of folk music into her piano-based country songs.

Tift Merritt: Newport Folk 2009

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/111346486/111623711" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

New York-based country singer Tift Merritt put out her first solo album, Bramble Rose, in 2002, following a stint with a band called The Carbines. Merritt's music is hard to pin down: She incorporates gospel, soul, '70s California rock 'n' roll and warm echoes of Joni Mitchell's brand of folk music into her piano-based country songs. Along the way, she shrewdly stretches those genres and her own voice toward each other to find a place where they meet.

Merritt's second record, Tambourine, was nominated for a Country Album of the Year Grammy in 2004. She wrote its follow-up, 2008's Another Country, in Paris during an extended break from touring. This year, Merritt released a live solo acoustic record called Buckingham Solo.

After the Newport Folk Festival, Merritt will continue touring through August, playing dates on the East Coast and in Canada. She has a monthly radio show, The Spark, on KRTS Marfa Public Radio in Texas, on which she converses with other artists about how they find inspiration.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Newport Folk Festival

Julia Jacklin performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Julia Jacklin, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The folk-rock singer from Australia's Blue Mountains makes music that confronts all the anxieties a 20-something feels about getting older. Hear songs from her debut album, Don't Let The Kids Win.

Julia Jacklin, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539344405/542433897" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Joseph performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Joseph, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The Portland trio, composed of sisters Natalie, Meegan and Allison Closner, makes music that invites its audience to share in its bond of sisterhood. Hear Joseph's set at Newport Folk now.

Joseph, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539346196/542434613" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

John Paul White performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

John Paul White, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

"If you came to this set looking to be cheered up, you're screwed," White deadpanned from the stage. His music can give goosebumps, even on a sunny summer day; hear his set at Newport now.

John Paul White, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539348461/542435387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Wilco performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Twenty years in, the Chicago band has staying power without sacrificing a sense of sonic exploration. Hear its catalog-spanning Newport Folk set now.

Wilco, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539980569/542131363" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Drive-By Truckers perform at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Drive-By Truckers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The band kept up a keen-edged commentary on xenophobia, censorship and racism throughout its set of gritty Southern rock. Hear its set now.

Drive-By Truckers, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539347047/542129563" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Pinegrove performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Pinegrove, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Hear the band play its tender songs about home, friendship and growing up, live at Newport Folk.

Pinegrove, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539347880/542125521" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Margaret Glaspy performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Margaret Glaspy, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The folk-rock singer performed songs from her acclaimed debut album — plus some new tracks — at Newport.

Margaret Glaspy, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539348329/542133440" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Marlon Williams (right) and bandmate Dave Khan perform at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Marlon Williams, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Though he was new to many in the audience, the New Zealander's lonesome set was the one festivalgoers were talking about for the rest of the weekend. Hear it now.

Marlon Williams, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539345237/540961653" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brent Cobb performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Brent Cobb, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

The Georgia-born roots musician's songs tell detailed, easy-paced stories of family and close friends. Hear his Newport Folk set, with special guest Jade Bird.

Brent Cobb, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539478392/540729361" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top