Shovels and Rope have a lot to ‘Be Joyful’ about

When asked how long they have been together, Hearst, left coyly answers “as long as I care to remember.”

Husband and wife team Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have spent the
last five years in their van. The Charleston, S.C. couple, who perform
rousing country folk under the moniker of Shovels & Rope insist that
they wouldn’t have it any other way. “We knew that we wanted to be on
the road together —and not separately,” says Hearst.

The telepathic connection that they share as musicians carries through
into their personal relationship. “We call each other the Wonder Twins,”
says Hearst. “We can tell who is struggling or what they are struggling
with at that moment without really talking about it.”

The hard work and harmony (both on and off the stage) has been paying
off lately. In August, they were playing small clubs and this week they
hit Lettermen on Wednesday, followed by a string of sold-out shows in
Boston, Philadelphia and New York.

The key to this sudden success is their mid-2012 release “O’ Be Joyful,”
the duo’s first release as Shovels & Rope (their 2008 debut was
released under their full names with “Shovels & Rope” as the title)
and a lo-fi country gem ripe for discovery.

As for their charmingly rough-shod arrangements, immortalized in the
lyrics of their stomping barn-burner “Birmingham” (where the two sing of
“making something out of nothing” with “two old guitars like a shovel
and rope”), Hearst demurely says that it was fate, not choice, that led
them down the minimalist path.

“[The arrangements] had done the trick for us in the bars and had earned
us a relatively comfortable living,” says Hearst. “We try to make the
it exciting using whatever our four arms and four legs and voices can
do.”

Shovels & Rope
with Andrew Combs
Thursday, Jan. 31
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St, New York
$15, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Shovels & Rope
with Andrew Combs
Friday, Feb. 1
The Sinclair
52 Church St, Cambridge
$12 -$15, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Shovels & Rope
with Andrew Combs, mechanical river
Saturday, Feb. 2
World Cafe Live Downstairs
3025 Walnut St, Philadelphia
$12-$15, 215-222-1400
www.ticketfly.com


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