No one can accuse Tift Merritt of not observing the laws of truth in advertising -- her fourth album was recorded during a solo performance at Buckingham, England's Radcliffe Center in late 2008, and Buckingham Solo is an elegant, unadorned document of Merritt's impressive gifts as she shared them with her audience that evening. With no accompaniment other than her own acoustic guitar and piano, Buckingham Solo could scarcely be more spare, but her clear, resonant voice, delicate but never fragile, soars gracefully though these 12 songs with nothing to hold them back, and though Merritt is not given to showboating, her style is obviously carefully considered, with the subtle gospel flourishes of "Morning Is My Destination," the easygoing blues turns of "Still Pretending," and the cleaner, folkie accents of "Stray Paper" revealing the variety of textures she can bring to her music. Half of the songs on Buckingham Solo were drawn from Merritt's 2008 album Another Country, and they're well served by her simple but complimentary piano work, and earlier songs such as "Good Hearted Man" and "Trouble Over Me" have only grown richer with a few years of experience. Merritt also includes a lovely and heartfelt cover of George Harrison's "I Live for You" and one new tune, "Do Something Good," which could easily be pigeonholed as a "message song" if it wasn't written and performed with such plainspoken, unaffected compassion. Tift Merritt's first three albums each found her exploring her musical world view in different ways in the studio, but Buckingham Solo shows she doesn't need a producer or a band to make her music speak to an audience, and this is a brilliant recording that shows how much depth and beauty can be found in a performance of such simplicity.