How It’s New York: City Winery is one of our favorite places in NY, and Tift, originally from North Carolina, lives here now.
How It’s Irish: Tift Merritt is very popular in Ireland. She has pictures of Ireland on her Myspace page. And her country twang has a clear relationship with Irish music. If you like Maura O’Connell and Mary Black there’s a good chance you’ll like her as well.

Tift has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris; she’s been on David Letterman and Austin City Limits.  Watch this space for a review from new blogger Ray P.  Foley!

“Traveling Alone” is a very special album for City Winery.  Tift wrote it in the mornings on our piano before opening.
Songwriter Tift Merritt is a North Carolina native who wanted to be a writer until her father taught her guitar chords and Percy Sledge songs.  Over the course of 4 studio albums, she has built a unique, uncompromising and critically acclaimed road of audio short stories. Emmylou Harris calls her a diamond in a coal mine. She has toured with Iron and Wine,  Nick Lowe, Andrew Bird  & Gregg Allman, appeared on Austin City Limits & Late Night with David Letterman,  been Grammy nominated for Country Album of the Year and nominated for 4 Americana Music Awards.  Currently at work on her fifth studio record, Traveling Alone, Tift also produces a handmade radio show, The Spark, a monthly conversation about process, integrity and making things, for Marfa, Texas Public Radio.

Tift lives in NYC with her husband who is also a musician.  If you can’t find her, she has probably rented an apartment with a piano in a town where she doesn’t know anyone and will be back before too long.

With the release of the decade encompassing retrospective Heavy Years: 2000-2010 (Ernest Jenning Record Company) long time fans have a new opportunity to trace Mills’ evolution from Chicago alt-country refugee to an astute purveyor of orchestral pop and true American song-craft, while the uninitiated may quite possibly be on the verge of discovering their favorite new songwriting voice.
Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Mills is working on songs for his next project, tentatively titled, The Soldier Is The Castle.

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.