Shovels & Rope from the album By Blood available on New West Records (by Bryant Liggett)
Shovels & Rope have always played it kind of punky and kind of country. The duo’s rough around the edges sound that surrounds the song like a candy shell, giving way to sweetness on the inside. Keeping to their established tradition, Shovels & Rope feature jug-band sing a-longs that bounce down the road alongside not-so-tender ballads, where the harmonies are shouted as much as they are sung. By Blood opens with “I’m Comin’ Out,” perhaps a nod to the growing family of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, making one of their offspring the narrator in the opener singing ‘I’ll show up to battle in my best suit’.
Indie rock drums come and go quick to make room for the same shout/sung harmonies on “Mississippi Nuthin’”, the cut giving way to a twangy guitar lead in on “The Wire.” By Blood presents “C’Mon Utah!” as an old-school folk ballad, simple in its instrumentation with guitar and harmonica while Shovels & Rope deliver “Twisted Sisters” as a call and response R&B tune with a slight hint of twang, the band following the rave-up with the reflective and somber “Good Old Days.” The fiddle in “Hammer” paired with the chain-gang rhythm becomes an old-school work song with aggravated complaints yelling ‘they shut my water off, I got a nasty cough, I’m out here every day with my hammer’. Peel back the layers and you will find Shovels and Rope cram a lot into their album production package on By Blood. Beyond the rootsy and playful bounce, along with a raw sound, Shovels & Rope have a reverence for their doses of lyrical honesty. (by Bryant Liggett)
Listen and buy the music of Shovels and Rope from AMAZON