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Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt is a Grammy-nominated musician who wanted to be a writer until her father taught her guitar chords and Percy Sledge songs. She has toured around the world with her sonic short stories and garnered a reputation for making her own way and setting an interesting artistic table. The New Yorker calls her “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry.” Don Henley, with help from Mick Jagger, kicks off Cass County with a cover of her song Bramble Rose. Taking time off the road to raise her daughter, Merritt began work on larger, site specific projects by way of collecting found objects in the abandoned asylum in her hometown as forgotten, essential language. Merritt has also collected artist interviews researching creative process and integrity on The Spark for Carolina Performing Arts and Marfa, Texas Public Radio. She is a founding member of the Hungry River Collective and a Practitioner-In-Residence at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, jointly with Bass Connections, the Social Science Research Institute, and Duke Arts. She lives in North Carolina with her daughter Jean.

(Photo credit Yasaman Baghban)

Bio updated Jan 2024