Song of the Day #3,146: ‘Dusty Old Man’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldLast year around this time I posted a song-by-song consideration of Lucinda Williams’ latest album, The Ghosts of Highway 20. It wasn’t exactly applauded by my regular readers, though I did get at least one staunch Williams fan defending me.

That defense came in a comment on a song by another favorite artist of mine, Tift Merritt, and earlier in the thread the same person broke the news that Merritt would release a new album in early 2017.

Well, here we are, and here it is. Merritt’s Stitch of the World has hit shelves (or hard drives) and in a nice bit of symmetry, I’ve chosen to dedicate the next two weeks to an appreciation of its ten tracks.

I suspect the Lucinda Williams haters will have an easier go of it this time around, as Tift Merritt’s voice is far less of an acquired taste. Merritt hasn’t enjoyed widespread popularity but her music is easy listening in the most generous interpretation of that phrase.

Stitch of the World was written and recorded during a tumultuous time in Merritt’s personal life, including a divorce and pregnancy. Like my two favorite albums of last year, Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings and Beyoncé’s Lemonade, it is about emotional perseverance and the scars that make us who we are.

Opening track ‘Dusty Old Man’ is one of the few up-tempo songs on the album. It’s a grungy blues stomp about the merits of a man who’s lived a little.

Dusty man, there goes my dusty old dusty old man

He loves my mouth, he loves my hips
Piece of my mind don’t make no difference
He don’t bow down and don’t make plans
He’s mean as a snake, he’s my dusty man

He say
Love me enough to right my wrongs
Love me until the scars are gone

Young man think he seen know everything
My baby’s broke in long and lean
More real living than that young boy could stand
You take a young boy, I keep my dusty old man

I say
Love me enough to right my wrongs
Love me until the scars are gone

Dusty man, here come my dusty old dusty old man

Calloused hand and tear stained heart
The world can’t won’t hand you what you want
Sometimes all you can do is say goddam
Give your love to your dusty old man

Love me enough to right my wrongs
Love me until the scars are gone

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,146: ‘Dusty Old Man’ – Tift Merritt

  1. Dana says:

    Tift ought to pay you something to serve as her publicist and promoter.

  2. Peter says:

    No comment on my part so far, but a quote from her interview with Noisetrade: “I had started playing around with open tunings on my guitar and it reminded me of an old Bonnie Raitt record that I love. The happy, carefree side of the blues, you know? I was thinking so much about that when I was writing and recording that song. I really love the driving beat of it and getting to hear Sam singing ‘Love’ at the top of his voice”.

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