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Shovels & Rope, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2017

Shovels & Rope performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR
Shovels & Rope performs at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival.

The last time the charismatic husband-and-wife duo Shovels & Rope performed at Newport, it was 2014 and Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent were not yet parents. The South Carolina couple has since welcomed its first child and released a new album, Little Seeds, recorded at home while the baby slept.

Despite having to tiptoe around a little one, Shovels & Rope hasn't dialed down the raucousness in its live set. Trent and Hearst are the only two members of the band, but they raise a joyous, rocking racket as they cavalierly exchange instruments (snare and kick drum, keys, guitars) between each song.

The ramshackle quality belies Hearst and Trent's thoughtful storytelling. Trent's father, who lived with the couple for a time, began to suffer the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease while Hearst was pregnant. Bearing such intimate witness to gestation and deterioration, simultaneously, enhanced the couple's familiarity with the cycles of life. So a humble awareness of mortality is evident in newer songs like "St. Anne's Parade," a percussionless ballad that Hearst told this year's Newport audience is about "life and death and rebirth all at the same time."

Set List

  • "Swimmin' Time"
  • "Gasoline"
  • "Save The World"
  • "I Know"
  • "Tickin' Bomb"
  • "The Last Hawk"
  • "Hollowpoint Blues"
  • "Birmingham"
  • "The Devil Is All Around"
  • "St. Anne's Parade"
  • "Missionary Ridge"
  • "Evil"
  • "Hail Hail"
  • Credits

    Technical Director: Josh Rogosin; Audio Engineers: Steve Remote, Steve Kolakowsky, Robert Carvell, Kazutaka Noda (Aura-Sonic Ltd.); Producers: Marissa Lorusso, Jenna Li, Suraya Mohamed; Photography: Adam Kissick

    Special thanks to TuneIn's Newport Folk Radio. Listen to Newport Folk Radio year-round via TuneIn.com or the TuneIn app.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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