Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt makes her fourth appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Unlike many country-influenced songwriters, Merritt made a conscious decision to eschew Nashville for New York City — which might come as surprise upon hearing the honeyed twang in her speaking voice.
Merritt burst onto the roots-music scene in 2002 with her solo debut Bramble Rose, and its follow-up, Tambourine, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Album. Feeling road-weary and uninspired, she then jetted off to France, where she developed material for her third album, Another Country.
Merritt remains close to her North Carolina roots, but the years spent on the road have given her a lucid outsider's perspective, on full display in the title song of her newest album, Traveling Alone. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, she opens her set with this track before being joined by the Mountain Stage band.
Web Extra: Tift Merritt behind the scenes at Mountain Stage
- "Traveling Alone"
- "Sweet Spot"
- "To Myself"
- "Still Not Home"
- "Small Talk Relations"
This Mountain Stage episode was first published on Oct. 9, 2012.