Today’s Random Weekend track is from Tift Merritt’s sophomore album, 2004’s Tambourine. This song is a cover of a rare cut by James Carr, a 60s soul singer best known for his recording of ‘The Dark End of the Street.’
This album was my first exposure to Merritt, who went on to become one of my favorite artists. I got Tambourine a few weeks before seeing her open for Elvis Costello, and the combination of this great album and her live show made me a fan for life.
Merry Christmas, everyone! My best to you and yours this holiday season.
Now, back to the music.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #3
See You On the Moon – Tift Merritt (2010)
Yesterday I mentioned the “best of the 2010s so far” list I compiled five years ago. On that lineup, Tift Merritt’s 2010 See You On the Moon showed up at #9.
It’s a great illustration of how time can enhance (or diminish) the power of a piece of work that the same album now sits at #3.
The best 30 Day Music Challenge categories are the ones left completely open to the participant’s interpretation. How you interpret the challenge is as meaningful as the song you ultimately pick.
Such is the case with Day 23’s direction to name ‘A Song That You Think Everybody Should Listen To.’ Does that mean a song you find important, so if everybody listened to it the world would somehow become a better place? Or a little-heard song that you feel needs the exposure?
Our next match-up in Round One of Montauk Madness pits the legendary Frank Sinatra against the tragically under-appreciated singer-songwriter Tift Merritt. A no-brainer, right? I agree… Tift Merritt advances.
Sinatra acolytes (like my parents) will scoff at this choice, I’m sure. But as much as I love Sinatra’s voice, and his interpretation of classic songs on such albums as Only the Lonely, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, In the Wee Small Hours and Watertown, I find it hard to vote for a non-songwriter over an excellent and prolific one.
Today wraps up my track-by-track look at Tift Merritt’s latest album, Stitch of the World. I hope it was less taxing for some readers than last year’s Lucinda Williams deep dive.
The album closes with a third song featuring Sam Beam on backing vocals, and as in the other two, his contribution is sublime.