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Night, by Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt’s sounding more like Patty Griffin than ever, and the choice of a Griffin tune to this singular mind-meld of classical piano (Simone Dinnerstein) and whatever it is Merritt does, seems to wink conspiratorially. Conspiracy aside, though, we could use more than one Patty Griffin these days, and the McCoy just stuck a few awkward down-home touches on her latest. No awkwardness here. Stark in instrumentation, smooth in sound, sinister around the edges where a harmonica or some cross-wire resonances cut in from the back of the guitar/piano/voice mix, the project forms a crucible for combined ideas.

And in such a crucible, odd wonderful creatures might emerge from the meltings. “Night” itself, positioned four-fifths away from the end (from dawn), spills out a story of eyeless birds and anthropomorphized not-day-times (“The night and I go quietly/ We go softly/ Screaming all the way”) a sensation stripped of enough detail (leaving enough feeling) to evoke terror, instead of the more earthly horror.

“Still Not Home,” reworked by Merritt from her last album, no longer clanks like a freight train starting up. It’s now just Jesus, Robert Johnson, and Tift Merritt. Jesus wants to be somebody, and he’ll have to leave Dad to do that. Robert Johnson doesn’t know if it’s day or night (an affliction one of his true sons, Jimi Hendrix, will pour into those words). Tift Merritt hasn’t finished trying all the anywheres of Earth, to find home. She still thinks she can find excitement, not doom, not drudgery, in that. Godspeed.

  • Album: Night
  • Artists: Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt
  • Label: Sony Masterworks
  • Songs: (1) Only in Songs (2) Nights and Dreams (3) Don’t Explain (4) Dido’s Lament (5) I Shall Weep at Night (6) Wayfaring Stranger (7) Prelude in B Minor (8) Still Not Home (9) I Will Give My Love an Apple (10) Colors (11) The Cohen Variations (12) Night (13) Feel of the World (14) I Can See Clearly Now
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Tift Merritt’s sounding more like Patty Griffin than ever, and the choice of a Griffin tune to this singular mind-meld of classical piano (Simone Dinnerstein) and whatever it is Merritt does, seems to wink conspiratorially. Conspiracy aside, though, we could use more than one Patty Griffin these days, and the McCoy just stuck a few awkward down-home touches on her latest. No awkwardness here. Stark in instrumentation, smooth in sound, sinister around the edges where a harmonica or some cross-wire resonances cut in from the back of the guitar/piano/voice mix, the project forms a crucible for combined ideas.

And in such a crucible, odd wonderful creatures might emerge from the meltings. “Night” itself, positioned four-fifths away from the end (from dawn), spills out a story of eyeless birds and anthropomorphized not-day-times (“The night and I go quietly/ We go softly/ Screaming all the way”) a sensation stripped of enough detail (leaving enough feeling) to evoke terror, instead of the more earthly horror.

“Still Not Home,” reworked by Merritt from her last album, no longer clanks like a freight train starting up. It’s now just Jesus, Robert Johnson, and Tift Merritt. Jesus wants to be somebody, and he’ll have to leave Dad to do that. Robert Johnson doesn’t know if it’s day or night (an affliction one of his true sons, Jimi Hendrix, will pour into those words). Tift Merritt hasn’t finished trying all the anywheres of Earth, to find home. She still thinks she can find excitement, not doom, not drudgery, in that. Godspeed.

  • Album: Night
  • Artists: Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt
  • Label: Sony Masterworks
  • Songs: (1) Only in Songs (2) Nights and Dreams (3) Don’t Explain (4) Dido’s Lament (5) I Shall Weep at Night (6) Wayfaring Stranger (7) Prelude in B Minor (8) Still Not Home (9) I Will Give My Love an Apple (10) Colors (11) The Cohen Variations (12) Night (13) Feel of the World (14) I Can See Clearly Now
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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