Travelling AloneYepRoc ***
It’s fair to say that Tift Merritt is an underachiever. Having promised much with her country soul debut (Bramble Rose) a decade ago, she struggled to make it through to the next level. Fast forward to 2011, and the 37-year-old from North Carolina found herself without a manager or label. Time for a rethink.
She called in favours and assembled a top-notch band, including guitarist Marc Ribot and Calexico’s John Convertino, and, armed with a bunch of resonant, reflective songs, recorded this strong set. Sweet Spot, Drifted Apart, Spring and the title track capture both Merritt’s abilities as a substantial singer and her honest and affecting evaluation of her situation. Yet as spirited as she can be on the likes of To Myself, there is a weariness and caution abroad. tiftmerritt.com
Download: Travelling Alone, Drifted Apart