Shovels & Rope – Swimmin’ Time

Read about the new release ‘Swimmin’ Time’ by Shovels & Rope


Shovels & Rope – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2013


 New Album On The Way

I suspect that Shovels & Rope (Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent) will not allow you to ignore them.

I first heard their debut album O’ Be Joyful in May 2013 and wrote a piece on it.  I subsequently saw them perform in Nashville at the Americana Music Awards (September) and San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (October) and was even more impressed by their originality, musicianship and exuberance.

Fresh off the press is news that Shovels & Rope are set to release their follow-up album Swimmin’ Time (on Dualtone Music) on August 26 2014.

Swimmin’ Time is highly anticipated, given that O’ Be Joyful garnered unanimous praise from the press, followed by dozens of sold-out shows, national television appearances, numerous year-end lists, impressive album sales and major festival performances.   To cap it all off, Shovels & Rope took home two of the top honors Song of the Year (“Birmingham”) and Emerging Artist of the Year at the aforementioned 2013 Americana Music Awards.

While O’ Be Joyful was recorded at home, in hotel rooms, in their van and throughout their travels, the band remained stationary by recording Swimmin’ Time at their home studio in Charleston, SC with Trent again producing.  Swimmin’ Time will feature thirteen new songs that apparently maintain the elemental Shovels & Rope songwriting and sound while incorporating new ingredients to the mix.

Shovels & Rope have appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and PBS’ Austin City Limits, while coverage ran in a multitude of outlets including The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times, Associated Press, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, American Songwriter, Filter, Nylon, and much more, including a NPR Tiny Desk Concert.  Also, if that wasn’t enough action, the new documentary film The Ballad of Shovels & Rope, which chronicles the band’s humble beginnings up to the release of O’ Be Joyful, recently received accolades at the Nashville Film Festival.

Shovels & Rope make music that exudes raw beauty, honesty, grit and passion.  Hard work does pay off – the band spent the better part of 2012 and 2013 touring almost non-stop, spreading their signature blend of rock, country, punk and folk to the masses.  I can attest to the fact that their live performances are undeniable, as the couple does not sing to each other, they sing at each other, pushing one another while playing multiple instruments (and sometimes swapping those instruments mid-song).

“The husband-and-wife duo’s chemistry and ramshackle playfulness make them difficult to resist.” says NPR Music.  “Hearst & Trent throw it all out there, without a safety net, and audiences feel every nuance”.  The New York Times said of their debut Coachella performance, “Of all this afternoon’s young bands, they were the softest, but they might make the loudest crash.”  What began in tiny bars has graduated to clubs, theatres and major festivals, including Newport Folk, Lollapalooza, Sasquatch, Hangout and many others, with Bonnaroo and more coming in 2014.

This is indeed a highly anticipated release.


Read about the new release ‘Swimmin’ Time’ by Shovels & Rope




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Author: Rob Dickens

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