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The New Yorker has called Tift Merritt “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry,” a standard upholding that got underway with Bramble Rose, the 2002 solo debut that put her on the Americana map forever. As her sophomore album, Tambourine, was followed by Another Country and See You on the Moon, Merritt found acclaim coming not just from critics but her own heroes, like Emmylou Harris, who marveled she “stood out like a diamond in a coal patch.”
For new album Traveling Alone, out Oct. 2, Merritt knew—and got—exactly the journeymen she wanted: guitarist Marc Ribot, Calexico drummer John Convertino, steel player Eric Heywood, multi-instrumentalist Rob Burger, and Jay Brown on bass. As captured by producer Tucker Martine (known for working with the Decemberists) the sound is both spare and luxurious.