Shovels And Rope: The Spotlight Awaits KEXP host John Richards has fallen hard for this duo's country-tinged rock. Here, the pair stops by the station's studios for a conversation and four-song performance that's honest, heartfelt and fun.

Favorite Sessions

Shovels And Rope: The Spotlight AwaitsKEXP

Sometimes you just know that a band isn't going to have to wait long before it reaches the stardom you think it deserves. Earlier this year, a friend sent me the new album from Shovels & Rope before it had been released. I'd requested it after seeing a video for "Birmingham," which shows the duo's members — Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent — playing the song as their dog runs around. I had to watch the video again just to confirm that the song was as great at I thought it might be. The second time confirmed it, and I immediately started playing it on my show.

It turns out the band hadn't planned on getting airplay just yet — and, all of a sudden, people were freaking out about the song and asking about Shovels & Rope's record. Without waiting for its release, we booked the duo to headline a show in our free concert series at the Seattle Center, knowing it'd be huge. The night ended up as our biggest draw in the series' history; we were lucky to have caught Shovels & Rope at that moment. We were even luckier to have Hearst and Trent drop by the station beforehand for an honest, heartfelt and fun session — the kind that makes you not only wish for their success, but also realize that they deserve it.

In an earlier version of this story, we incorrectly cited the band's hometown as Seattle.

Set List

  • "O' Be Joyful"
  • "Birmingham"
  • "Keeper"
  • "Hail Hail"

Credits

Kevin Suggs, engineer; Tim Meining, Jenna Pool and Justin Wilmore, cameras; Scott Holpainen, editing

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