Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Tift Merritt talks her new album, family, and touring ahead of her return to Wilmington

The Grammy nominated singer/songwriter will play the Blue-Eyed Muse on Aug. 17

WILMINGTON — When Tift Merritt recorded her latest album, “Stitch of the World, she was six-months pregnant and coming off a year-long hiatus from touring. Now the singer is back on the road and she is coming to Wilmington.

The Grammy nominated singer/songwriter will play the Blue-Eyed Muse on Aug. 17 before winding down her North American tour and heading off on a European tour.

“This record came out in January and I took a year off when I turned 40. I was going through a lot of change and I had been on the road … I had a writing routine and sort of got back to the basics, we recorded the album in four days, with some of my favorite players,” Merritt said.

Merritt’s album released in January of this year after she wrote it while spending time on a friend’s farm in Texas, a cabin in California, and New York City. Merritt moved back to her hometown of Raleigh after the album’s release.

Merritt is no stranger to playing the venues of Wilmington, having spent some of her formative days as a young musician in the Port City. In fact, Merritt played 98.3 The Penguin’s first show at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater in 2008.

“I lived in Wilmington when I was about 19 years old and waited tables and played some of my first gigs when I was just trying to figure out how to write and make my way as an artist,” Merritt said.

When it comes to balancing time between being a mother to her daughter and performing Merritt says her daughter comes first, and while it can be tiring, she makes it work.

“It’s surprising, it isn’t how I thought it would be … I think the hardest thing is the physicality of it, I give Jean (her daughter) all of my attention all day and then go do a rock show but you know, I prioritize her and I don’t travel too far between shows now, I actually end up spending a lot of time with her when we’re on the road,” she said.

After her European tour, Merritt plans on slowing down on the touring in order to spend time with her daughter.

“I think by the end of this year, Jean will be 18 months old, I think the next few years will probably not have so much touring for me as I just kind of let her come first,” she said.

Michael Praats can be reached via email at Michael.p@localvoicemedia.com.

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