Photo by Jason Frank Rothernberg
Fourteen years ago Tift Merritt stepped out of North Carolina and onto the national stage with an album so accomplished and assured that it was almost impossible to believe that it was her debut. Bramble Rose betrayed few growing pains, instead revealing a songwriter and performer full of grit and grace who seemed destined for bigger and better things.
Merritt has fulfilled those initial expectations with the unfailingly high quality of her subsequent work, even if widespread commercial success hasn’t quite been in the cards. Bramble Rose is getting a limited edition re-release in vinyl this February, and the artist who birthed this outstanding collection of songs has a soft spot in her heart for them. “There was so much sweetness in that time, something pure in making a first record,” Merritt remembered. “We were so excited to be in the studio together, to be in Los Angeles – everything was ahead and everything was happening for the first time. When I think of how all the miles I’ve seen began with this little seed, it gives me a great deal of hope. I could tell you 1,000 tender stories from those days. But maybe that is what those songs are.”
“Virginia, No One Can Warn You” certainly qualifies as a tender story. In a way, it was the public’s introduction to Merritt, thanks to a clever one-shot video that received ample airplay. A mid-tempo rambler featuring a steadfast rhythm, some... Sign In to Keep Reading