Tift Merritt, September 27, 2008
When pulling in to our parking lot, I saw Tift Merritt changing clothes outside under the open back window of her van. We joked about it later. This North Carolina performer seemed nervous and very gracious to perform for us. She googled "organic foods in Boise," and didn't find much. It's not the first time we've heard this from traveling artists.
They had just traveled through Arco, which she joked as being our "Area 51." Her dad is her tour manager and performance partner at times, and they had stopped at Craters of the Moon. In Arco, she said, "we're like...there's a TORPEDO in the middle of this town. That's a little weird."
Tift and her family have been through Idaho before, they have family in Ketchum.
She talked to me about performing on Acoustic Cafe, which is where I had first heard of her. She said "Rob Reinhart's studio is like some guy's garage. Driving by, you're like 'here's a non-descript building.' Peole could either do drugs or get shot there...or make it a recording studio." She also says that Rob Reinhart is "really, really tall!"
He looks like this:
Tift Merritt's instrument of choice was a battered Gibson, looking very old but she has only owned it 6 years. She was very humble and said of her voice, "I still don't think I can carry a tune." Her voice is compared to Emmylou Harris, one of her idols-along with Carole King and Joni Mitchell. She was very excited to ask if any of us had heard Michelle Shocked's song "Anchorage," it is one of her favorites.
Hear her song Keep You Happy, as performed in-studio, and be sure to listen to these powerful lyrics.