by Greg Allard

Concert preview: Shovels & Rope at the High Dive

Charleston, SC alt-country duo Shovels & Rope will perform at the High Dive tonight supported by Shakey Graves.

Shovels & Rope consist of the husband and wife team of Michael Trent and Carry Ann Hearst. Before forming, the couple had significant experience and some initial success on different projects. Hearst, who has also performed as a solo act, has two albums to date, namely Dust and Bones and Lions and Lambs. Hearst’s first big break came when her single “Hell’s Bells” from her 2010 EP, Are You Ready to Die?, was featured in the HBO series True Blood.

Trent, who has so farreleased two solo LPs of his own, the self-titled Michael Trent and The Winner, has also released three records as part of the band The Films.

The Films, a four-piece power pop band from Charleston, met in high school and gained a quick following in Japan and Germany after releasing their debut album Don’t Dance Rattlesnake in 2007. The band then toured on the  JägermeisterRock Liga 2009 tour in Europe.

Shovels & Rope released their debut self-titled LP in late 2008 and their follow-up record, 2012’s O’ Be Joyful on Dualtone Records, which topped the US Heat chart and placed # 7 on The US folk chart.

While their music is sometimes called folk and alt-country, it is very difficult to classify their sound, other than calling it honest and conscientious country– a far cry from the contemporary country that has become so popular today.

The band has toured with acts like the Avett Brothers and Justin Towne Earl, and have a sound influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan and the Dixie Chicks. They have done some hard traveling, touring throughout North America and playing at festivals like VOODOO and others. Hearing them live, it’s amazing how much musical vibration can come out of just two people. They’re impressive with a backing band too, as evidenced by when the pair got their national TV debut on David Letterman in 2013. Their appearance on Austin City Limits later last summer also attests to this.

Shovels & Rope and Shakey Graves will play the High Dive tonight at 9pm. Tickets are $15 the day of the show.

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