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CD REVIEW

Shovels & Rope: Swimmin’ Time

by Amy Jacques on August 22, 2014

Swimmin’ Time is the third full-length release from the Charleston, S.C.-based husband-and-wife duo Shovels & Rope, following 2012’s O’ Be Joyful and 2008’s self-titled debut. This time, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst recorded at their home studio, rather than on the road, and used their comfortable surroundings to showcase their songwriting abilities and talents as multi-instrumentalists. From the beautiful urgency and wanting of “After The Storm” and “This Bridge Is on Fire” to the soul and swing of “Coping Mechanism,” to the harmonizing and honesty of the clear standout “The Devil Is All Around,” to the dark basslines of “Evil” and yearning New Orleans-y brass of “Ohio,” to the revival sounds of “Fish Assassin,” and the strange and catchy tale of the relationship between “Mary Ann & One Eyed Dan” with its joyful trumpet blasts, Shovels & Rope prove, once again, that they are deftly able to move through genres like country, Americana, punk, rock, folk and blues. Swimmin’ Time is dark, gritty, honest and playful all at once, and the 13-song collection will likely be the band’s true coming-out party.

Authors: Amy Jacques
Artist: Shovels & Rope
Album: Swimmin’ Time
Label: Dualtone

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