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Tift Merritt & The Carbines with Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie

UNC's acclaimed Curriculum in Folklore presents its second annual "Classic Sounds of the South" concerts this weekend in the classic Old Playmakers Theatre at UNC-Chapel Hill. Friday's concert features Johnny Irion & Sarah Lee Guthrie and Tift Merritt & the Carbines, while Saturday offers two sets from Merritt. Though small in stature, Merritt looms large in talent. She combines superior songwriting (she won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest 2000), an unforgettable voice and solid guitar work with the soul of classic honky-tonk and the energy of rock. No wonder she appears poised to follow Ryan Adams into international stardom. Guthrie, the daughter of Arlo (and thus granddaughter of Woody) and Irion's country-duet harmonies call to mind The Louvin Brothers, Everly Brothers, and, yes, Cisco Houston & Woody Guthrie. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by e-mail at Call (919) 962-4065 or visit for details. --Art Menius

  • Tift Merritt & The Carbines with Johnny Irion and Sarah Lee Guthrie

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