The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews - JOE BREEN

Live from Austin, Tx New West

Squeezed in be­fore Mer­ritt re­leases her long-awaited third stu­dio album in a few weeks, Live is an ex­cel­lent show­case from 2005 of one of the best young singer­song­writ­ers to emerge in the Amer­i­cana tra­di­tion over the past decade. Mer­ritt writes songs drenched in coun­try soul with the spirit of Dusty Spring­field never far away, though she can also swag­ger like Jag­ger, as on Shadow in the Way. Whether armed with a Gib­son SG or a big acous­tic, Mer­ritt’s diminu­tive cheru­bic stage pres­ence oozes ex­u­ber­ance and con­vic­tion, her rock­ing four-piece band pro­vid­ing edgy sup­port in front of the live TV au­di­ence. Lis­ten­ing to th­ese songs it’s sur­pris­ing how many have a warm fa­mil­iar­ity, in­clud­ing Stray Pa­per, Neigh­bour­hood, Vir­ginia and Good-Hearted Man. Also avail­able on DVD http://tift mer­ritt.com Down­load tracks Stray Pa­per, Vir­ginia

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