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Shovels + Rope

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Shovels + Rope

Shovels + Rope

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Description of Shovels + Rope's Music:

Contemporary folk, Americana, singer-songwriters, folk music duo

Comparisons:

Most folks these days think of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings when they mull over the phrase, "contemporary folk music duo," but Shovels + Rope couldn't be further from that image. Their raw and rugged blend of old school country (Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash) with thoughtful folk-rock (ala Steve Earle, some of Bob Dylan) and a sort of indie-something-or-other aggression (Hammell on Trial, Devil Makes Three) blend together for a true-to-themselves sound. Fans of anything from the Avett Brothers to Ani DiFranco to Loretta Lynn to the White Stripes might find some grit and spirit to grab onto with Shovels + Rope.

Shovels + Rope Band Members:

Cary Ann Hearst - vocals, guitar
Michael Trent - drums, percussion, keyboards, etc.

Recommended Shovels + Rope Albums:

O' Be Joyful (Dualtone Music Group, 2012) compare prices

Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent - Shovels & Rope (Self, 2008) compare prices

Purchase/Download Shovels + Rope MP3s:

"Birmingham" (from O' Be Joyful)
"Kemba's Got the Cabbage Moth Blues" (from O' Be Joyful)
"Gasoline" (from Shovels & Rope)

Shovels + Rope Biography:

Cary Ann Hearst was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, though her mother is from Mississippi and her father is from Tennessee. Blessed with a voice the size of her homestate and enough musical energy to fire a cannon, Hearst somewhat quietly entered the throes of the contemporary folk singer-songwriter scene. But, within a couple of years, in her solo singer-songwriter career, Hearst rose to some level of recognition when HBO's popular vampire-themed TV series True Blood chose to include her song "Hell's Bells" (purchase/download) in its soundtrack. This spotlight only amped up the success of her two solo albums and helped gain her some mainstream cred going into her writing and touring collaboration with her husband Michael Trent.

Trent had a somewhat recording career of his own, releasing a solo album titled The Winner on his own Shrimp Records label in 2010. (This was, incidentally, after first recording with Hearst on a self-released album after which the duo would come to name themselves.) Trent's solo work didn't find its way to any television shows, but the songs on The Winner would certainly be of interest to any Shovels + Rope fans - they are energetic, imaginative affairs, wrought with bounceable rhythms.

At any rate, after self-releasing a singer-songwriter duo album titled Shovels and Rope in 2008 (under the clever name of Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent), the duo earned the attention of some of contemporary folk and Americana music's new generation of hard hitters, not to mention the fawning attention of some in the blogosphere and indie music scenes. By 2011, they had been invited to hit the road with the likes of Hayes Carll, Justin Townes Earle, Jason Isbell, the Felice Brothers and Butch Walker, gaining respect and fans everywhere they went.

It wasn't until their debut full-length O' Be Joyful dropped in the spring of 2012, though, that Hearst and Trent became known plainly as the band named after their first album. Shovels + Rope stormed the folk festival circuit that summer, clawing their way up the chain and into the hearts of critics and fans alike.

According to their official bio, the pair live on Johns Island, SC, just outside Charleston, where they parent a hound dog and a coop full of chickens whenever they're home. (They also reportedly clocked about 60,000 miles touring in 2011 alone, so make of that what you will.)

Learn more about Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent - including tour dates, videos, and other information - on their website at shovelsandrope.com.

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