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Shovels & Rope perform in The Current studio

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope perform in The Current studio.
Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope perform in The Current studio.MPR photo/Nate Ryan
  Play Now [24:39]

by Mary Lucia and Shovels & Rope

October 10, 2014

Shovels & Rope - Coping Mechanism (Live at 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
Shovels & Rope - The Devil is All Around (Live at 89.3 The Current)
by MPR
Shovels & Rope - Evil (Live at 89.3 The Current)
by MPR

Both Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent had made their own solo records, but the occupational realities of two solo artists in a relationship didn't appeal to them. "We thought, if this goes the way we want it to, we'll never see each other," Hearst recalls. "We decided to throw everything into this project."

In so doing, Hearst and Trent pooled their talents and became the duo known as Shovels & Rope. The decision turned out to be a good choice professionally and personally. "We'd been home for our honeymoon for a week, and we've been on the road ever since," Hearst says.

Now touring in support of their new album, Swimmin' Time, Shovels & Rope stopped by The Current studio to play some songs and to chat with Mary Lucia.

Hearst grew up in Nashville, Tenn., where, she says, "It was universally accepted that everyone was a musician, from my dentist to my teacher to the pizza guy."

That said, Hearst moved to Charleston, S.C., to attend college, and that is where she and Trent are based to this day. Although they are on the road a lot, touring by bus lets them enjoy elements of domesticity — much of it thanks to the dog who accompanies them on tour. "The dog is a piece of home," Hearst says. "He brings normalcy to our life."

Listen to the full interview to hear more about Shovels & Rope, including the two reasons they avoid reading their own reviews; who some of their influences are; who would be a dream co-touring artist; and how their Arrested Development fandom has created some happy coincidences for Cary Ann and Michael during their late-night TV appearances.

Songs Performed

"Coping Mechanism"
"The Devil is All Around"
All songs off the album, Swimmin' Time, out now from Dualtone Music Group.

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Web feature by Luke Taylor