O' Be Joyful [Limited Pale Yellow]
The chemistry of Shovels & Rope is what makes them shine. The sincerity of the music, and their ability to seamlessly blend vocals allows them to ascend beyond their otherwise humble setup and skill sets.
Cary Ann even says it in the opening track “Birmingham” which also acts as their de facto introduction and theme song: “Played Springwater, Station Inn. Couldn’t play fast, couldn’t fit in.” What she can do though is sing in high register with that Loretta coal-grit in the back of her throat and awaken something deep and familiar in the music, especially when Michael Trent joins in on harmony.
Shovels & Rope is at their best when they’re autobiographical, or seemingly so, like in the song “Birmingham” and the second track “Keeper” about how the world turns against you, and you against the world when you think you’ve found that one. With Shovels & Rope’s gypsy lifestyle, cuddling in the back of a tour van every night, their songs just seem like a natural extension of their everyday life set to music. This is how the pair’s chemistry draws you in so deep.