Now consider the plight of the married duo. Personal problems follow you around on tour, professional problems haunt your home life and there’s never any break from your spouse/bandmate. Somehow Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst have made it work because Shovels & Rope has quickly become one of the hottest Americana acts in the country. The couple’s popularity is particularly pointed in the Cincinnati area; their last few shows in the area have been sell-outs (or nearly so) and, as a result, they seem to be making regular stops here to capitalize on their spiking local popularity.
One spin through O’ Be Joyful, Shovels & Rope’s 2012 quasi-debut (Trent and Hearst recorded an album together in 2010 under their own names, which was titled Shovels & Rope), provides plenty of evidence as to what keeps drawing the faithful and converting the uninitiated.
Ranging from twangy Folk to amped-up Country to full-bore Americana stomp, Shovels & Rope channel John Doe and Exene Cervenka channeling Timbuk 3 channeling Johnny Cash and June Carter. That’s a whole lot of channels, but as long as Shovels & Rope is holding the remote, there is definitely something on.
SHOVELS & ROPE plays with Shakey Graves Tuesday, Sept. 14 in the Sanctuary Room at Newport's Southgate House Revival. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.