Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tift Merritt is coming! Tift Merritt is coming!

Adequate words do not exist to explain my adoration of this woman's talents. "Good Hearted Man" is easily one of my favorite Tift Merritt songs, largely because the emotions she evokes in her lyrics remind me in an utterly nauseating way of how I feel about D.

(Please, go ahead and retch. I'm just feeling schmoopy at present.)

I often trend towards some weird amalgam of 90's indie rock, old timey punk, southern rock and alt-country, and Brit-pop (though there's definitely room for all of that Manx rock from the 80's, like Joy Division, James, Happy Mondays, etc.), but when I listen to the women of alt-country, I'm always struck at the weird combination of fragile femininity and tough emotions the standardbearers (Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Tift Merritt, Caitlin Cary, Kelly Hogan, et al.) seem to possess. North Carolina native Tift Merritt possesses this almost ethereal beauty (with worried eyes and a wide grin), but I have a feeling she could stand toe-to-toe with Ryan Adams and bitch slap him. Of course, Rhett Miller would be on hand to offer up a congratulatory pound.*

Anyhow, why am I rambling on about Miz Merritt?

Well, it appears she is gracing Orleanians with her presence this week. According to the T-P:

Tift Merritt in New Orleans

At Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival: Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Tift Merritt gives a master class on 'The Art and Craft of Songwriting,' Thursday, 3:15 p.m., The Historic New Orleans Collection; admission $25. Also, Merritt joins Nashville, Tenn., writer Jim McCormick and New Orleans' own Paul Sanchez, formerly of Cowboy Mouth, in 'Art of Song,' a discussion of their craft, Friday, 1 p.m., Bourbon Orleans Ballroom; admission included in festival pass ($25 for one day; $60 for full festival). Tickets: Call festival office, (504) 581-1144, or go to Web site

At The Parish at House of Blues: Tift Merritt appears in concert, with Paul Sanchez, Friday, 8 p.m., 225 Decatur St.; admission $13.50. Tickets: Call Ticketmaster, (504) 522-5555, or go to Web site


Ryan Adams - Amazingly talented, if formerly self-destructive former lead singer of Whiskeytown. Once a nasty drunk who engaged in sporadic feud/mud-slinging with Rhett & Co.; now one half of a mutual admiration society that includes the Old 97’s. Old conventional wisdon: Will defy odds if he lives to see 30. New conventional wisdom: Like Dylan, will be cranking out albums at 60. Unverified but juicy rumor: Was inspiration for and/or target of “Crash On The Barrelhead.”

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