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Tift Merritt - Another Country 
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

Well, here I am back in the middle of the night reviewing a CD and listening on my headphones. I have listened to Tift Merritt before, but never reviewed anything by her. This is a really well done recording, it reminds me a bit of Shelby Lynne's last CD where she sings Dusty Springfield songs. It was another artists idea that she finally got around to. Well, let me tell you a bit of the story of Another Country.

Merritt took off for Paris, France to stay in a friend's small apartment with a piano. All she did was exist - play piano, write music, hang out with other artists and came back with some great material that in the finished version, sort of follows a theme. 

I really think this is going to be a great year for music, as soon as I took off six weeks to review some guitar pedals, all of these great CDs started coming out, I can't wait to get into Carlene Carter's new music, great stuff, from what I have heard. When times get tough, usually good music starts coming out as well as other artistic mediums. I will say that while I was playing the best guitar pedals in the land, my passion for playing came back, even with my chronic pain, I'm loving it again. Sometimes we need to do something different to get our inspiration back, for Merritt, it was go to Paris. She has made an awesome disc, playing with some hot studio musicians, Merritt really puts out some great, live sounding music. 

"Keep You Happy" is a ballad with acoustic guitar picking in beginning and some bell like (sounding) lead guitar. Doug Sax mastered this already great recording. I love the guitar playing of Charlie Sexton and Doug Pettibone. Produced by George Drakoulas. Some strings in the background of this song. 

"I Know What I'm Looking For Now" is an acoustic rhythmic sound with drums and full band. this recording tells the story of her Paris trip. More great guitar playing here, pedal steel with delay, just tonally grabbing. Some nice back ground vocals on this song. 

"Tell Me Something True" is a rocker with some horns and great lyrics. "My Heart Is free" rocks like a Mindy Smith song. The guitars are cooking, great melody. Another great set of lyrics. 

"Tender Branch" is a tender song that like a lot of these songs have a very live vibe. Oh Boy, there goes that guitar again, "increditone," Merritt's songwriting is nothing short of inspired on this disc. 

She finishes the disc singing a song in French, "Mille Tendresses". 

This CD picks up where Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer left off. Just really hot inspired music. I love it. This is a must check out. 

Click here to order your copy.

Related Links:
Official Website  
MySpace Site 

To visit Jim Moulton's website click here

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