Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. She's also received a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album. The kind of music she makes doesn't attract much commercial attention — and that seems to suit her just fine.
Merritt's latest album is called Traveling Alone. The title, she tells NPR's David Greene, speaks to the value of being self-sustaining.
"I think, at the end of the day, I have an outsider's heart," Merritt says. "You always hope that you're going to find that place where you belong — you know, you follow the map or the playbook that everyone in the world seems to have, or understand, and you will arrive at the place where things make sense. And I think ... that's a little naive, and that you have to build that place yourself. And that's a lonely thing to realize, but also an exciting one."
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