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Bramble Rose

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Album Review

In his short story Billy the Kid, Steve Earle spun the tale of a fresh-faced kid who arrived in Nashville with a handful of brilliant songs, cut a stone classic album, scored a record deal most musicians would give their eye teeth to get, and married the girl of his dreams, all in a few weeks before cruel fate caught up with him. While one can only hope the powers that be have a more generous final act planned for Tift Merritt, listening to her first solo album (she'd released an album with the Two Dollar Pistols), Bramble Rose, is a reminder that such things could possibly happen in the real world. If Bramble Rose is a bit short of perfect, it leaves no doubt that Merritt is already a talent of the first order. As a singer, she has a simply gorgeous vocal instrument (imagine the passion of Lucinda Williams and the real-world twang of Iris Dement fused with the silky beauty of Emmylou Harris), and her songs are nearly as impressive as her vocals. At 27, Merritt's lyrical perspective speaks of the often-unfortunate twists and turns of fate, but without bitterness or spite, and she can jump from the wistful sway of "Virginia, No One Can Warn You" to the R&B-influenced bite of "Neighborhood" and back to the classic weeper style of the title cut without missing a step or ever sounding less than committed or convincing. Merritt also has the good fortune of having a superb backing band who support her songs with grace and impeccable taste, and producer Ethan Johns gets this music on tape with a sound that's at once intimate and comfortably wide open. It's difficult to imagine that an artist whose previous recording experience amounted to one self-released 45 and a split EP could turn in an album so strong and well-crafted, but it's even harder to imagine that listeners are likely to hear many debut albums nearly as good as Bramble Rose in the final six months of 2002, and by all rights this should be the first offering in a long and successful career for Tift Merritt.

Customer Reviews

A new fan of this performer, would love to see her live

I just saw Tift Merritt perform a jamming When I Cross Over on Austin City Limits, and she is amazing. (Other web posts also confirm that she is great to see live, extremely talented and powerful.) The version of When I Cross... here doesn't seem to have the same raw power, but I will probably download it. This is an artist I'm sure we'll hear more from, hopefully soon as it seems her last album was in approx 2004.

She is so hot

Ive been a Tift fan ever since I learned about her. My parents bought this album when I was 6 but only until like a year ago I noticed how hot she was. She is also a very good singer, and nothing beats the classic "Virginia" (No one can warm you). Great job. Please make your next album this good (unlike another country). Oh, I forgot to say the ONE THING I dont love about Tift. She is a TAR HEELS fan and the BLUE DEVILS (my team) are their rivals. Even though, that doesnt matter. <3 Tift Merrit. XD

Great voice

I like this ladys voice through and through. Why is the genre llisted as "Rock", clearly not. Charlie


Born: January 8, 1975 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Tift Merritt seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the spring of 2002 with her acclaimed debut album Bramble Rose, but as is often the case, this triple-threat artist -- a gifted singer, superb songwriter, and skillful guitarist -- actually has plenty of experience under her belt. Born in Houston, Texas, in 1975, Merritt's family moved to North Carolina when she was young and she's lived there ever since. Merritt first developed an interest in music when she was a child and learned...
Full Bio
Bramble Rose, Tift Merritt
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Customer Ratings