Album Remarks & Appraisals:
2009 release, the first live album from the gifted singer, superb songwriter and skillful guitarist. This solo concert was recorded November 29, 2008 at the Radcliffe Centre in Buckinham, England. Features live recordings of songs from the albums Another Country, Bramble Rose and Tambourine. Universal. 2009.
Audio Mixer: Neil Brockbank.
Recording information: Radcliffe Centre, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England (11/29/2008).
With no accompaniment other than her own acoustic guitar and piano, and BUCKINGHAM SOLO could scarcely be more spare, but Tift Merritt's clear, resonant voice, delicate but never fragile, soars gracefully though these 12 songs with nothing to hold them back. Though Merritt is not given to showboating, her style is obviously carefully considered, with the subtle gospel flourishes of "Morning Is My Destination," the easygoing blues turns of "Still Pretending," and the cleaner, folkie accents of "Stray Paper" revealing the variety of textures she can bring to her music. Half of the songs on and BUCKINGHAM SOLO were drawn from Merritt's 2008 album ANOTHER COUNTRY, and they're well served by her simple but complimentary piano work, and earlier songs such as "Good Hearted Man" and "Trouble Over Me" have only grown richer with a few years of experience. Merritt also includes a lovely and heartfelt cover of George Harrison's "I Live for You" and one new tune, "Do Something Good," which could easily be pigeonholed as a "message song" if it wasn't written and performed with such plainspoken, unaffected compassion. Tift Merritt's first three albums each found her exploring her musical world view in different ways in the studio, but and BUCKINGHAM SOLO shows she doesn't need a producer or a band to make her music speak to an audience, and this is a brilliant recording that shows how much depth and beauty can be found in a performance of such simplicity.
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