Merritt describes the writing on this album as a plain spoken look at the distance we all attempt to cross between two people, between one heart and the rest of the world. After two records and a Grammy nomination, Tift Merritt took hiatus with a piano in Paris and she was rewarded with unbridled inspiration plus a wealth of her most accomplished songs to date. These songs together comprise Merritt's third recording Another Country. Merritt's debut Bramble Rose earned spots on both Time Magazine and the New Yorker's year-end Top Ten lists. Tambourine, her sophomore album, was Grammy nominated for Country Album of the Year and it earned numerous accolades from press and fans.
If the first step brings critical acclaim and the second garners Grammy® consideration, what could be in line for North Carolina native Tift Merritt since a 2002 emergence that left critics scrambling for adjectives? The talented singer/songwriter has often been miscast as a country artist, and Another Country
is an opportunity to leave that moniker behind. She dips slightly into the genre, such as on the country rocker "Something to Me," the lead track featuring guitarist Charlie Sexton and sweet organ trimmings from bandmate Danny Eisenberg. From there the record sways into a flurry of styles, and Merritt never misses a beat. The blue-eyed soul of "Morning is My Destination" recalls Dusty in Memphis
, while "Tell Me Something True" is an R&B nugget that has the breezy Merritt sounding eerily like Diana Ross. Elements of rock, folk, and blues pervade, and producer George Drakoulias (Black Crowes, the Jayhawks) stays out of the way, allowing Merritts voice to embody the songs, all 11 of which flow from start to finish, uninterrupted and primed for full-on stardom. --Scott Holter