Piece image

Tift Merritt: In her own words

From: David Schulman
Series: Musicians in their own words
Length: 03:30

Drinking sherry with the angels, and other tales from a Southern songwriter.

Tiftmerritthr_small Tift Merritt loves the sound of early Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt -- you can hear it in the way she sings, and in the way she attacks her guitar. Her songwriting and stage presence helped land her a deal with Lucinda Williams's label. Her first CD, "Bramble Rose," is a blend of juke joint swagger, country laments, and Southern storytelling. Her just-released second CD, "Tambourine," blends in blues and soul stylings. People magazine's reviewer said, "Tift Merritt deserves to move from the fringes of stardom onto the A list of country-rockers thanks to this joy of an album." The New Yorker's Ben Greenman heard it this way: "To her credit, Merritt now has an excellent Southern-rock record under her belt; to her discredit, she now has a split personality." Worth a listen, either way. As in all the pieces in David Schulman's CPB-supported Musicians in their own words series, the story is told through a mix of the performer's voice and music. There is no reporter's voice heard, allowing the feature to be seamlessly incorporated into station news, talk, or music programming. Scripts for intro and outro are attached, and may be edited at will. This piece works well pegged to local performances. Merritt's tour schedule includes: Sep 30 2004 ARLINGTON, VA Iota Club and Cafe Oct 1 2004 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom Oct 3 2004 Brooklyn, NY SOUTHPAW Oct 4 2004 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Oct 5 2004 Cambridge, MA The Bear's Oct 7 2004 Toronto, ON Lee's Palace Oct 8 2004 Chicago, IL The Abbey Oct 9 2004 Louisville, KY The Mojo Music Fest This was the first piece produced for the series, and has aired on stations including KUOW, WFPK, Georgia Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, KUT and WUNC.

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Piece Description

Tift Merritt loves the sound of early Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt -- you can hear it in the way she sings, and in the way she attacks her guitar. Her songwriting and stage presence helped land her a deal with Lucinda Williams's label. Her first CD, "Bramble Rose," is a blend of juke joint swagger, country laments, and Southern storytelling. Her just-released second CD, "Tambourine," blends in blues and soul stylings. People magazine's reviewer said, "Tift Merritt deserves to move from the fringes of stardom onto the A list of country-rockers thanks to this joy of an album." The New Yorker's Ben Greenman heard it this way: "To her credit, Merritt now has an excellent Southern-rock record under her belt; to her discredit, she now has a split personality." Worth a listen, either way. As in all the pieces in David Schulman's CPB-supported Musicians in their own words series, the story is told through a mix of the performer's voice and music. There is no reporter's voice heard, allowing the feature to be seamlessly incorporated into station news, talk, or music programming. Scripts for intro and outro are attached, and may be edited at will. This piece works well pegged to local performances. Merritt's tour schedule includes: Sep 30 2004 ARLINGTON, VA Iota Club and Cafe Oct 1 2004 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom Oct 3 2004 Brooklyn, NY SOUTHPAW Oct 4 2004 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Oct 5 2004 Cambridge, MA The Bear's Oct 7 2004 Toronto, ON Lee's Palace Oct 8 2004 Chicago, IL The Abbey Oct 9 2004 Louisville, KY The Mojo Music Fest This was the first piece produced for the series, and has aired on stations including KUOW, WFPK, Georgia Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, KUT and WUNC.

2 Comments Atom Feed

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Get to Know Tift One Wonderful Moment at a Time!

I am not a fan of these types of "no interviewer" pieces. They are hard to produce and are often too long..and well, frankly, the person speaking is just not that interesting. It's the producer's job to make an interesting person more compelling and turn a dull person into an interesting person.

WUNC knows how to do these pieces. The 3:30 is a perfect length..same a record so it makes this essay easy for music stations like ours to use.

There are just enough personal stories mixed with Tift's viewpoints about music to make the piece interesting because the segments are prioritized and skillfully edited.

One note to all news stations doing these kinds of peices: Check with the music station's play lists to see what single we are playing. This piece omits a cut from Good Hearted Man, now in rotation in many non-comm triple A stations. Not a big thing really as we would most likely follow this piece with the single, but something to keep in mind.

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Drinking sherry with the angels

This is a fabulous series, providing the listener with enough information and music to get a good sense of the artist and whether you would like to hear more. In this particular case I know I want to hear more: Ms Merritt reveals her influences and some personal details, and talks about her passion for music in a real and simple way, at once demystifying the creative process AND revealing how complex it is. Perfect insert for ATC or ME.

Broadcast History

This was the first piece produced for the series, and has aired on stations including KUOW, WFPK, Georgia Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, KUT and WUNC.

Transcript

Keywords: Tift Merritt, alt-country, Bramble Rose, Raleigh, North Carolina, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda WIlliams, Bonnie Raitt, Musicians in their own words, WUNC, David Schulman
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

Tift Merritt: In her own words

Tape time is 3:15. Ends with :22 music tail
Add approx :40 for intro/outro

TAPE IN: "Hi, I'm Tift Merritt......"
TAPE OUT: Ends with :22 music tail. Last spoken words:
"... it ends up being haunting."

Musical Works

All excerpts by Tift Merritt, from her CD "Bramble Rose"

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.tiftmerritt.com/