According to the tastemakers, Merritt will be making a slow but sure climb. Her mature songwriting, tremendous vocals and energetic stage show caught a lot of attention during a recent tour with Mindy Smith and other up-and-comers.

“I have to admit that my favorite thing is to come off stage and feel like I’ve run a marathon and to feel like I’ve really left a part of myself, physically, onstage, and I miss that,” she told Pollstar about that acoustic tour. “But I think it’s important to interpret a song in a lot of different ways. … I have a really talented band and I always try to write songs that can stand up to interpretation.”

Beginning January 19, she’s out on her own, traveling smaller venues from Texas to the West Coast. Starting in Houston, Dallas and Austin, Merritt brings her show to West Hollywood, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle before hitting Vancouver, Salt Lake City and Denver, wrapping things up at St. Louis’ Duck Room on February 11.

She’s got a thumbs-up from us; catch her if you can.