Tift Merrit “Good Hearted Man”

Tift MerrittArtist:
Philip Andelman
Add Date:
October 16, 2004


Hello and huge thanks to all my programming buds! It’s Andy Gesner and the staff here at HIP Video Promo and we very much appreciate all your support for the videos we championed during the summer of 2004. We are thrilled to be working with artist friendly Lost Highway Records, and it’s our great privilege to share with you a brand new video from one of the label’s most exciting emerging artists: Tift Merritt.

In 2002, Merritt became the talk of both the Nashville cognoscenti and roots-rock aficionados with Bramble Rose, an unflinching, heartbreaking stunner of a debut album. Her tales of struggle, romance and redemption were willful, gutsy, and optimistic; country-bred but never corny. Delivered in a voice that seems almost too rich and too potent for our era – one that seems ripped from a classic soul album of the sixties or seventies – Merritt’s sturdily constructed songs established her as a traditionalist force for the modern era.

Bramble Rose didn’t have a duff track on it, and following it up must have seemed a daunting task. Enlisting the support of veteran trad-rock producer George Drakoulias (The Black Crowes’ Southern Harmony And Musical Companion, Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, Ride’s brilliant, pastoral Carnival Of Light) Merritt headed toward a decidedly tougher sound. It’s our pleasure to announce that the move paid great aesthetic dividends: Tambourine, the anticipated follow up, is at once brighter, bolder, and smarter than the heralded debut.

Tambourine – a country-soul record hotter than a summer in Tennessee – takes advantage of Merritt’s astonishing vocal range by putting the singer in settings that augment her natural gifts. Surrounded by horns, electric piano, rock-solid rhythm guitar, and heavenly choirs of backing vocalists, Merritt delivers sublime performances of great empathy and expressiveness. The result? An album that stands shoulder to shoulder with its great predecessors: Dusty In Memphis, certainly, but also Van Morrison’s landmark Tupelo Honey, Maria McKee’s bracing You Gotta Sin To Get Saved, and the early seventies sets by Carole King. Yes, it’s that good.

Lead single “Good Hearted Man” recalls the slow burners on each of those classics. As producer Drakoulias bathes the track in a warm reverb worthy of Van the Man, Merritt purrs through a sultry bridge before exploding into the muscular, gospel-influenced chorus. A traditionalist writer to the core, Tift Merritt also makes sure to give her song a bridge sturdy enough to support her weighty talent.

The clip for “Good Hearted Man” presents Tift Merritt unadorned. Barefoot, strumming a guitar, and wide-eyed in gratitude and passion, Merritt croons to the camera with a smile. She sits on a mattress, pushed into the corner of a huge sunlit room in an old mansion. Paint peels from the walls, but this is a handsome location – and Merritt seems very much at home here. She plays the piano, sits at a dresser, strolls through the garden; singing to herself all the while, reminding herself of her fortune. It’s a scene of tremendous inner peace and contentment – a visual representation of the song’s sweet sentiment

Here at HIP we will be always very thankful to Retta Harvey at Lost Highway Records for hiring us to help out with the much heralded and emotionally gripping Johnny Cash “Hurt” video in 2003. We are proud to be on board with Tift, a gifted singer and terrific songwriter with an incredible career ahead of her! We strongly urge you to give this amazing artist the attention she so rightfully deserves. We do have copies of the Tambourine CD for everyone who shows Tift some programming love, so please get in touch if you’d like to check it out. If you need more info call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779, or email info@HIPVideoPromo.com. You can also visit Lost Highway Records, or Tift’s official site to find out more about Tift Merritt and the “Good Hearted Man” video.

Visit Lost Highway Visit Tift Merritt
Visit Lost Highway Visit Tift Merritt
ift Merritt performs at Southpaw in Brooklyn Tift Merritt with Andy at her terrific show Lost Highway recording artist Tift Merritt
Tift Merritt performs at Southpaw in Brooklyn – October 2nd Tift Merritt with Andy at her terrific show with her band at Southpaw in Brooklyn – October 2nd Lost Highway recording artist Tift Merritt wows the crowd at Southpaw October 2nd