FLASHBACK VIDEO: SHOVEL & ROPE – “Birmingham” (O’ Be Joyful, 2013)
Shovel & Rope – ‘By Blood’ is expected April 12, 2019, iTunes.
by Walter Price
Back in 2013, American folk duo Shovel & Rope (Cary Ann Hearst / Michael Trent), released a tremendous album, O’ Be Joyful. An album that would introduce the masses to their brand of traditional fare. 11 tracks blending blues, rockabilly, country, and hints of jazz flare. The first single and video from the album, “Birmingham” still resonates with me today. For several reasons. Prominently, the track is said to be a version of their own coming together as performers tale and the must-see sentimental video.
Hearst and Trent explained to American Songwriter at the time, “The characters are based on us, although you’ll have to guess who’s who. They, as well as the rest of the song, are psychedelicized, cartoon versions of us and some situations that we may or may not have found ourselves in some years ago. It’s a story of two people working it out in the midst of turmoil, each faced with the decision to blindly sacrifice a part of their self for the good of the pair… and trusting that it would all work out in the end.”
Which takes us back to the video. A sweet depiction of the story with a couple of cute kids in place of the songwriters as they prep the day and hit the road to gig at those all too familiar roadhouses performers cut their teeth in. If you dig a little tugging on your heartstrings and love a beautifully written song, this story and its film will make your day…all over again.
SHOVEL & ROPE