SHOVELS AND ROPE

Moseley Folk 2017 - Shovels & Rope

Shovels and Rope are the wife-husband duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. Nashville native Hearst and Denver-born Trent now hail from Johns Island, South Carolina, where when not on the road performing they raise chickens at their home. As solo artists, they both have two solo albums to their name: Hearst – Dust and Bones (2006) and Butch Walker-produced Lions and Lambs (2011) and Trent – an eponymous 2007 debut followed by The Winner (2010). Hearst’s song Hell’s Bells was featured on HBO’s True Blood, but while it has brought the pair an unexpected income, it is together that they have found most critical acclaim and recent fame. Of the song, Hearst told the Charleston City Paper in 2011, “Michael and I laugh at how much of a financial windfall it’s brought us and how much attention it’s brought us, but it’s also dangerous… I’m glad people like it. It’s a fun song, but I certainly hope it’s not a reflection of my best songwriting… as good as that is maybe we can shoot a little higher and write equally tough but maybe more important or clever songs.” And that they did: in 2013, the Americana Music Association named Shovels and Rope their Emerging Artists of the Year and their record Birmingham was named Song of the Year. This song, sadly not named after our own fair city, led to a network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman and propelled them rapidly forward in their career. Last year’s release Little Seeds was their fifth full-length release and built further on their now established reputation for being able to produce an at once melancholy and triumphant blend of robust electric guitar and reflective vocal performances. In a 5-star review, the Observer called it “an outstanding album” and Uncut described it as “a portrait of life’s triumphs and travails, its joys and sorrows rendered in wholly compelling detail”.