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Tift plays new music live

The fun began on October 6 when we played the Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnatti, Ohio, for a large and enthusiastic crowd.  The festival is extremely well-organized, and all of the staff kept us happy and comfortable.  Two things happened that we hadn't seen before at a Tift Merritt show: a huge fireworks display exploded while we played; and Tift rocked her new song, "Broken", so hard that her rental amplifier actually broke down.  We had a great time on stage that night.

Our next show was on October 14 in Albemarle, North Carolina, where we performed at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center with The Bluegrass Experience.  The performance was a benefit for The Farmhouse, a local live-in facility for people with autism.  Greensboro's own Dave McCracken (Donna the Buffalo) did an excellent job sitting in on keys with us.  Tift opened the show on acoustic with the new song, "Something To Me" and played several other new ones: "Tender Branch", "Broken", and "Hopes Too High".  We also played a new version of an older live song, "Morning is My Destination".  Tift sang, "Are You Still In Love With Me?" during an  acoustic segment (it was great to sing harmony on that one again).  Our thanks go to Dr. Rob Morrell and his wife Maureen, who not only helped organize all aspects of the event, but treated the band to a late-night reception with food and drinks at the Pontiac Point.

On October 15 we made our way to the Melting Point in Athens, GA, where we were once again joined on stage by our usual yet ever-amazing keyboardist Sweet, Sweet Danny Eisenberg.  We really had a great show that night-Tift just wanted to keep playing.  The band would like to thank Kimberly Morgan (who had a fine acoustic performance that night) and our soundman Wes (who kept us smiling and made us sound good).

Several members of the Tift Merritt Band have been going to the North Carolina State Fair for years, and we've witnessed performances in Dorton Arena by everyone from Loretta Lynn to George Jones.  We were very honored to be part of that tradition on October 17, when we performed on the same stage with local hero Mike Cross and North Carolina legend Earl Scruggs.  It was an emotional show for the North Carolinians in the band, as many family and friends were in attendance.  One old friend, Greg Readling, joined us on pedal-steel guitar for several songs.  The new song,"Hopes Too High", seemed as honest and beautiful that night as any Tift song we've ever played.  Thanks go to Ryan Pickett, who was able to run sound for us in that  legendary environment.  Thanks also to our friend Richard McAllister, who took this photo of the band.

The next night we rocked the familiar confines of The Handlebar in Greenville, SC.  Tift played two new tunes in addition to the ones we've already mentioned: "Heart Run Wild", which she did during the acoustic segment; and "Mille Tendresses", which she played on piano to close the show.

Once again, we had a great time together.  We'd like to thank everyone who came to these shows and allowed us to play some great new songs.

Tift will be travelling to Cleveland, Ohio, on November 4 to perform at the Playhouse Square's State Theater as part of the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame's tribute concert for the music of Roy Orbison. She will reunite with the band in one of our favorite places, Wilmington (yes, we saw your posts in the comments section after the last blog), NC, on November 8 for an outdoor performance at Riverfront Park.

The band will play a benefit for the American Cancer Society at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on November 10.  For those of you who are in/or going to Hollywood, CA, Tift will sit in with members of Nickel Creek at Largo on Thursday November 16.

See you on the road,
Tift Merritt Band


posted @ Friday, October 27, 2006 3:41 PM by

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Jay, thanks a bunch for the post--we here at .net/TMSTFC really appreciate these and hope you'll be able to keep doing them. To say we're stoked about the 8th would be an understatement.

Phillip in Wilm

posted @ Saturday, October 28, 2006 7:01 AM by Phillip Reid

Thanks Jay, I can't wait to see you guys on the 8th. I hope I get the chance to get a few pictures with everyone there too.

posted @ Saturday, October 28, 2006 10:39 AM by Zach Crocker

thanks so much Jay for the post, great to be kept informed. good info on the new songs, ive heard her do 'something to me' on a bbc radio interview and cant wait to hear the others. it musta been good to have greg playing. looking forward to when tift (and others?) are back here in the UK


posted @ Sunday, October 29, 2006 11:20 AM by gary ley

Looks like Tift had a cool set up last night (11/8/06). Wish I could have been there. Couldn't help but notice the drummer has what looks like an older silver sparkle Ludwig kit. Mine is a '72 silver sparkle...he obviously has good taste. His kit actually has the older keystone badge but maybe it is a new kit with the old look? The Mason Smith Band would love to open for them in Wilmington or Raleigh... Philip, Tift is a beautiful girl, but next time how about a few more pictures of the drummer!

posted @ Thursday, November 09, 2006 10:32 AM by

Mr. Lavengood:

Thank you for posting to the blog. Mr. Hutchins is a fine drummer and a worthwhile person. I will happily tote his kit to the trailer any night, in exchange for the privilege of hearing them play. T and Z if y'all are reading this, you can trust me that if you ever want a local opener you could do far, far worse than the MSB. I'm sure Ned would send you a free CD. Despite the fact that I will blatantly flirt with his superlative wife any chance I get. It's al good. if there's one person who's drunk more free Maker's than Tift courtesy of me, it is most definitely Ned Lavengood.

posted @ Saturday, November 11, 2006 6:05 PM by Phillip Reid

We made the show in Athens, at the Melting Point. It was great to see the band together and Tift was AWESOME as usual. Tift puts so much energy into the show. The new mareial is great...I am so looking forward to the new CD.

Steve - Atlanta

posted @ Saturday, November 11, 2006 6:34 PM by

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