Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tift Merritt "Broken"

I was looking at the list of Newport Folk artists, to see if their names jogged any memories that would make good blog posts.

And when I saw the name Tift Merritt it made me smile, and blush just a little.

At Merlefest 2008, our set up was right in the middle of the Community College campus, in pretty much the geographic center of the 14 stage sprawl.  They had us, believe it or not, in an actual old caboose, which they'd outfitted with power and internet.

And if you stood on the back of the train, you were overlooking the table where artists would be scheduled to autograph CDs and meet with fans.

It was pretty revealing and entertaining, to note what the crowd in that autograph line looked like, based on which artist was at the table that hour.

When legendary pickers like Jorma Kaukonen were seated behind the table, the line was filled with middle aged guys with pot bellies, holding their own guitar to have it signed, ready with their technical question.

When young rebel bands like The Avett Brothers sat there, the line was made up of young hipsters, sporting tattoos and fashionable but perhaps inappropriate gear, like wool caps (it was April).

I watched Tift Merritt coming across campus, headed to her turn to meet and greet.

She was wearing a sleek little dress, that had a plunging neckline and stopped short at the knees, to give full view of her kick-ass boots.

She strutted right up to the table.  Looked at the chair set out for her.  Then back at the table.

And then she jauntily hopped herself right onto the table itself, crossing her legs, ready to meet her fans.

Oh, and looking at those guys just made me laugh.

I mean, look at those awkward 40-something-year-old guys in line.  In their jeans and their band t-shirts.

Look at them shyly, awkwardly, try to talk to the cool, pretty singer.

And watch the cool, pretty singer just charm these guys into a puddle.

What dorks!  What losers!  What . . . wait.

Pretty much every guy in that line, looks like me.

(Sad trombone)

Tift Merrit performs this weekend at the Newport Folk Festival.  For artist previews and mvyradio's Newport Folk Channel, visit the mvyradio Bloggers page.  And hear full coverage of the Festival, with live sets from the stage, on

Hear the song on Youtube.

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