Todd Paris/Mountain Stage
Tift Merritt.
Todd Paris/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Tift Merritt On Mountain Stage

Tift Merritt On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/162580604/162392754" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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

Set List

  • "Traveling Alone"
  • "Sweet Spot"
  • "To Myself"
  • "Still Not Home"
  • "Small Talk Relations"

This Mountain Stage episode was first published on Oct. 9, 2012.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Mountain Stage

Seratones perform on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Seratones On Mountain Stage

The psych-soul-rock hell-raisers from Shreveport, La., make their Mountain Stage debut.

Seratones on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/538151420/538163259" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brennen Leigh performs on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Brennen Leigh On Mountain Stage

The Minnesota-born, Texas-based singer brings her mix of whip-smart lyricism and country swing to Mountain Stage in West Virginia.

Brennen Leigh on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/537067702/537067726" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The New York-based sibling duo The Lords of Liechtenstein. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

The Lords Of Liechtenstein On Mountain Stage

The Rauchwerk brothers bring their quirky, folky singing and songwriting to Mountain Stage in West Virginia.

Lords of Liechtenstein on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/534992085/535370783" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sean Rowe performs on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Sean Rowe On Mountain Stage

Hear the blues-folk musician's soulful, gravelly thunder return to Mountain Stage at the Culture Center Theater in West Virginia.

Sean Rowe Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/534551182/534556188" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Singer-songwriter Michael Cerveris returns to Mountain Stage and his native West Virginia. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Michael Cerveris On Mountain Stage

For this performance, Mountain Stage lured the singer-songwriter away from his Tony Award-winning stint on Broadway and back to the stage in his native West Virginia.

Michael Cerveris on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533561563/533567684" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn perform bluegrass and Mandarin folk music for Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn On Mountain Stage

The First Family of the Banjo performs bluegrass and Mandarin folk music live in Charleston, W.Va.

Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532957683/532964363" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Choreographed "punk showbiz" duo Nancy And Beth perform on Mountain Stage in Charleston, W.Va. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Nancy And Beth On Mountain Stage

The musical alter ego of Will & Grace comedian Megan Mullally and Friday Night Lights actress Stephanie Hunt covers Gucci Mane and Lou Rawls in West Virgina.

Nancy And Beth On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/531556917/531560010" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Roots-rock band The Black Lillies plays Mountain Stage for the third time. Josh Saul/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Josh Saul/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

The Black Lillies On Mountain Stage

The Knoxville roots-rock band returns to Mountain Stage with its signature mix of country, Motown blues and Americana. Hear a live set recorded at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

The Black Lillies on Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530863824/530870274" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill perform live on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Martin Hayes And Dennis Cahill On Mountain Stage

Hear the Irish instrumental duo perform a set of jigs, reels and airs live in West Virginia.

Martin Hayes And Dennis Cahill On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/529746282/529749347" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

T Sisters perform on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

T Sisters On Mountain Stage

The Oakland sibling trio focuses on grooving bluegrass and smooth, close-knit harmonies. Hear a live set recorded in Marietta, Ohio.

The T Sisters On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528775924/528778039" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top