Shovels & Rope - Birmingham
Shovels & Rope - Boxcar
[W]e spent Saturday night at the early show at Johnny D’s eagerly awaiting the husband and wife duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, also known as Shovels & Rope. We’ve already mentioned how much we love their record, we’ve posted videos, waxed poetic and just gushed again and again as we listened to the records. All that aside, Saturday night was a great night, and although they seemed to be a little tired, a little whisky and a crowd that was hanging on their every word seemed to warm them up into a fantastic night which even included a cover of Marty Robbins’ “el paso”. Their set consisted mainly of their new material from their most recent record O’ Be Joyful, with standout songs like “Birmingham,” “O’ Be Joyful,” and “Shank Hill.” It was as billed, an anything goes kind of set, and Cary Ann and Michael’s stage presence is completely endearing as you can see the chemistry between the two of them.
Check out our photographic evidence of a very special band that is extremely dynamic, fun to watch and a couple of awesome songwriters and if you’ve got the opportunity, I highly suggest checking out this band, they are one of the truly special bands to see live, and you will not regret doing so.
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[T]win Oaks is the dreamfolk duo of Aaron Christopher and Lauren Brown. The pair started playing together back in ‘09 but ultimately didn’t start the Twin Oaks project up until last year. Check out their single “Not an Exit,” a track that feels like it could have been Sharon Van Etten inspired, it’s a minimal, serene, guitar and key based dream pop / folk song featuring Lauren Brown’s lovely and soothing vocals.
The Not An Exit EP is scheduled for a November release and is the band’s first self-release tracked and mixed at Aaron’s home studio.
[S]ean Bones recently released a video for his superbly chill track “Hit Me Up,” off his most recently released album, Buzzards Boy. It’s a breezy track that makes us all beg the summer to last just a little bit longer as the steel drums reverberate, and the synths wash over this track.
Buy Buzzards Boy
[I]t’s no secret that I’m truly in love with the ramshackle sounds of folk music, the collaboration between San Francisco’s Avi Vinocur and North Carolina’s Patrick Dyer Wolf, aptly named Goodnight, Texas, the geographic midpoint between the two’s hometowns, who are creating a stylistic late nineteenth century folk music around the traditions of blue collar America. Â Sans fluff, I’m really digging the sound they are putting together feels authentic, gritty, thisÂ AppalachianÂ folk style was highly regarded last year when Southeast Engine released Canary, and this seems to be another similar project.
Check out the first single “Jesse Got Trapped In a Coal Mine,” a song brings the story of a young man trapped in a coal mine and doomed to die in the pitch black without ever getting to marry his fiancee. The dusty, mandolin driven track is morose, and quite sad, as the narrative of the track puts into reality the struggles and hardships of yesterday.
Look for Goodnight, Texas’ upcoming record A Long Life of Living October 2nd.
[S]ongs that feel this mysterious feel as though they give us wisdom passed down from the trees, something primordial and all together larger than the sum of us. That is the feel that Bird By Snow seems to be going for on their upcoming album titled, Offering. Check out this single, “Grace,” which seems to elegantly fill your ears with the inspiration of Fletcher Tucker’s home in Big Sur, CA.
Look for Offering on LP + digital (out Sept 15th, 2012)
[P]assion Pit’s former keyboardist, Ayad Al Adhamy, is leading a new band called, Team Spirit, and they’ve got a self-titled debut EP. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t sound much like Passion Pit, but that shouldn’t dissuade you, “Phenomenom,” is a guitar driven, powerpop track with a whole lot of, well you guessed it, spirit. It’s got a freewheelin, energetic vibe, and an instantly likeable feel to it.
Look for their EP on the band’s bandcamp page.
[A]pparently Kyle James Hauser and I share more than just a first name, we both seem to love Elliott Smith’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Check out this recording of Hauser’s banjo laden cover of the Elliott Smith classic, recorded in tribute in Denver, CO for a screening of the Smith documentary “Searching For Elliott Smith,” which as a fan I think you should definitely see.
And well if you aren’t hip to Elliott Smith, take a crash course over here.