Shovels & Rope – By Blood

Who is your band? They’re the band that makes your ears perk up just at the mention of their name. They’re the band that you travel to see their shows, buy their merch, and your friends know them as “oh yeah, they’re that band you like…” They are your band.

I met a girl once and when the flirting turned to conversation about music she asked: Do you know Shovels & Rope?

I now live with that woman. I freaking love Shovels & Rope; they’re my band.

By Blood is an album that is difficult to categorize. At times it is the stripped down and heartfelt agony of folksy singer-songwriters. Parts of this record are simplistic and very much indie folk rock. By Blood also crosses over into country music territory with its storytelling, occasional harmonica and fiddle, vocal harmonies, and guitar work. I think that ”Americana” is an overused label, but it works with this record.

This album rocks a little bit, too. There is a whole lot of fuzz on a tuned down guitar that sounds like it would be at home in the garage of a neighborhood White Stripes cover band. Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst can combine for a light touch of rock n roll screeching and that is a beautiful thing.

I love this band. I think you should, too.

My favorite track: C’Mon Utah!

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