Wireless Soul
Taste of Polonia
Last Fling

Hail, hail rock ‘n’ roll

The brash, intertwining vocals of husband-and-wife duo Shovels & Rope earn the Charleston, S.C.-based couple the designation as the country bumpkin cousins of the Civil Wars. Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst – she, the redheaded spitfire and he, the detailed storyteller with a punk streak – joined musical forces long after hooking up romantically. O’ Be Joyful (Dualtone) epitomizes the pair’s motto: Making something out of nothing (they’ve even emblazoned it in Latin – Creatio Ex Nihilo – on their merch). With guitars, banjos, a junk heap drum kit, and four hands, the band gives WASP mothers a reason to lock up their daughters with the rockabilly rebellion of  “Hail Hail.” Hearst morphs into Loretta Lynn on knee-slapper “Kemba’s Got The Cabbage Moth Blues” and perfects that signature Emmylou Harris wobble during the waltz of “Carnival.” In a partnership brimming with chemistry, both drop the badass sneer that prevails throughout the album on “Lay Low” while “This Means War” wipes out all defenses by including a recording of Hearst as a toddler dreaming up her ideal pet with her grandfather. (Friday@Beat Kitchen.)

– Janine Schaults

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