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.