Listen to: Shovels and Rope, ‘Swimmin’ Time’

Listen to: Shovels and Rope, ‘Swimmin’ Time’

Leigh MichaelMonday,15 September 2014

The Snap: 

Country-folk duo Shovels & Rope released their second LP, Swimmin’ Time, at the end of August. You can purchase the album on Amazon or iTunes.

You might remember this group for “Birmingham,” the semi-autobiographical song that explores how Shovels & Rope came into being. Swimmin’ Time is tangible proof that the group has staying power.

The Download:

Shovels & Rope are no longer the best kept secret of the deep South.

They’ve graced the stage at the Grand Ole’ Opry and regaled audiences on Conan. They were the recipient of Americana Honors and Awards’ 2013 Song of the Year title. They’re officially out in the open.

And this husband and wife duo is a little bit freaked out by it all. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Cary Ann Hearst says to hubby Michael Trent, “We can’t turn into dicks. We promised each other that we would walk away from this in a heartbeat if it compromised our relationship. I don’t want to be miserable and divorced.” Indeed, the “band” was never meant to be a “band,” but rather a one-time project. But the couple found that their musical chemistry was as strong as their personal one, and a few songs have since grown into two albums and a series of whirlwind tours (by the way, they’re cruising around the U.S. now).

Swimmin’ Time is an overall strong album punctuated by a few bona-fide gems. “Pinned” has that raspy charm that the group is known for, and “The Devil Is All Around” starts off like a scratchy hymn before breaking down into that Appalachia style that makes Shovels & Rope stand out from other folk artists demanding airtime these days. Even “Save the World,” a surprisingly mellow piece, tugs at the heartstrings.

Shovels & Rope may be a “finite” project, but it’s one that I hope has some more life left in it.

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Hat Tips:

TSD, American SongwriterRolling StoneShovels & Rope, Image Credit: Flickr

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