Friday, January 18, 2013

SOTW - January 18, 2012 - Shovels & Rope


  [doo-uh-liz-uh m] 
the state of being dual or consisting of two parts; division into two.

Yin and yang. The two sides of the coin. One contrasts the other. June and Johnny. Joan and Bob. Ike and Tina. Graham and Emmylou. Dave and Gil'. Jack and Meg. The primal tension between man and woman plays most vividly in music. It's that which we cannot see transposed onto that which we can. Where watching Keith and Mick share a mic' makes us squeamish, Bruce and Patty set things on fire with their faces two inches apart.

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, a/k/a Shovels & Rope, are a charming example. Drawing off the recent wave of Americana Country Folk, they have the immediate synergy of Rawlings/Welch, but with a half-dose of seriousness. What they lack in instrumental prowess, they make up for with buoyant delivery. Hearing them, you get the warm feeling that there is nothing they'd rather be doing. If you find yourself wanting tickets for the spring Old Crow/Avett tour, buy some Shovels & Rope for the drive. Folkies should start with their 2009 eponymous debut, while Nashville Rockers will gravitate towards 2012's O' Be Joyful. 

Your Song of the Week for January 18, 2012 is unadulterated sunny day driving music (preferably in the country). An irresistible adventure tale of lovers in crime, "Boxcar" is once-a-day tonic for dour moods. If they can keep making songs like this, "Cary Ann and Michael" might one day be written in stars.  

Boxcar by Shovels and Rope on Grooveshark

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