September 27, 2012

where i can’t hurt no one, and no one can hurt me

I can’t disentangle myself from this Shovels & Rope song this morning. There’s something powerful and affecting in the way that Cary Ann Hearst and her husband Michael Trent’s voices push and relent against each other on this simple rendition of their song under the pines at Oregon’s Pickathon this past August.

I only heard about Shovels & Rope a few weeks ago when a friend raved about their performance at eTown up in Boulder, and I was snagged by their name’s inferences of digging and tying. After looking them up online, I realized I’d heard effusive ravings about Cary Ann Hearst in 2010, oddly enough from my seatmate on a homebound flight from SXSW – Creed Bratton (of The Office and from the Sixties band The Grass Roots). He raved about her to me, and even mailed me a copy of her record, to which I replied that her “take no prisoners wail” sounded like she should be playing shows with the White Stripes. (Funnily enough, Shovels & Rope are on tour opening for Jack White right now).

Another friend told me that she also saw them at the same Boulder show, and that Cary’s presence onstage reminded her of a young and fiery Dolly Parton. That same fearlessness in this stripped-down formation is really killing me. I like fearlessness.

So lay low, baby, just for a little while more
if you can’t keep waiting – I will find my way back to your door

Lay Low (live at Pickathon) – Shovels & Rope

And this song is going to be the second or third track on my Autumn 2012 mix that I am working on, but I just couldn’t wait — so watch for it again soon.

Their record O’ Be Joyful is out now on Dualtone Records, and Shovels & Rope plays Denver’s Ogden Theatre on December 30 and 31. I would like to do that.

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  • Yessss. They’re playing here soon and I am all over that.

    Sam. — September 28, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  • i can appreciate the comparison to Dolly, but on first listen all i can think is hot damn, are we sure that isn’t Loretta Lynn? feisty voice on that lady for sure! love.

    jess — September 28, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  • I just bought tickets to see them in Madison a few days ago! Pretty exciting!

    Liana — September 28, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  • Thanks for sharing this Heather. I’ve been hearing about them but havent heard them until now. A wonderful tune.

    J. Powell — September 28, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  • I LOVE them. Her voice is so endearingly authentic. Having only listened to O’ Be Joyful (on repeat for several weeks), it was delightful to watch them sing together on this. So much intimacy — enough to make you blush.

    Kate — September 28, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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