Shovels & Rope

Events

Sep 20 Thu
Shovels & Rope8:00 PM
JaM Cellars Ballroom at Margrit Mondavi Theatre

Little Seeds, the electrifying New West Records bow by Shovels and Rope, finds the Award-winning South Carolina duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, exploring fresh dimensions in their sound with a brace of bold, candid, highly personal new songs.

The 12-song collection, produced by Trent at the couple’s home studio in

Charleston, succeeds 2014’s Swimmin’ Time and 2012’s O’ Be Joyful; the latter title

garnered the twosome Americana Music Awards for Song of the Year (for

“Birmingham”) and Emerging Artist of the Year. Last year’s Busted Jukebox, Volume

1 was a collaborative collection of covers featuring such top talents as the Milk

Carton Kids, Lucius, JD McPherson and Butch Walker.

On the new release, Trent and Hearst, as ever, play all the instruments and penned

the material, which range from stomping rockers to delicate acoustic-based

numbers. Many of Little Seeds’ finely crafted and reflective new songs – completed

in the late summer of 2015 -- are drawn from tumultuous events experienced by the

couple over the course of the last two years.

“There were two major changes that happened at the same time,” Hearst says. “We

found out we were pregnant, and at the same time Michael’s parents had been living

with us, because his father is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Those two things,

having the baby and facing the reality that our parents were aging, made this weird,

awesome circle of humanity that really just took us out. I guess we were in the

crosshairs of human existence.”

JaM Cellars Ballroom is  UPSTAIRS at The Napa Opera House

General Admission and STANDING room only. No seating available.

Each person does require a ticket for entry. We welcome ages 8+ with children under 16 accompanied by an adult. No Babes in Arms.

No Refunds. No professional cameras or outside food and drink.

There is dining available downstairs in the Blue Note. There is a Bar available for drink purchases up and downstairs. Patrons attending a show upstairs in the Ballroom are welcome to dine in the restaurant starting at 5:30 pm, if available.

Due to the historic nature of the Ballroom, there are no bathrooms located upstairs. Facilities are located downstairs around the Blue Note Club and are accessible via stairs or the elevator.

Any special needs or accommodation requests, please call our Box Office.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!

Jam Cellars Ballroom in the Margrit Mondavi Theatre is located UPSTAIRS in the historic Napa Valley Opera House

1030 Main Street, Napa CA 94559 / Box Office: 707.880.2300 (Tues-Sat, 3:30-9:30 pm)

Shovels & Rope

SHOVELS AND ROPE - LITTLE SEEDS
Little Seeds, the electrifying New West Records bow by Shovels and Rope, finds the
award-winning South Carolina duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst exploring
fresh dimensions in their sound with a brace of bold, candid, highly personal new
songs.
The 12-song collection, produced by Trent at the couple’s home studio in
Charleston, succeeds 2014’s Swimmin’ Time and 2012’s O’ Be Joyful; the latter title
garnered the twosome Americana Music Awards for Song of the Year (for
“Birmingham”) and Emerging Artist of the Year. Last year’s Busted Jukebox, Volume
1 was a collaborative collection of covers featuring such top talents as the Milk
Carton Kids, Lucius, JD McPherson and Butch Walker.
On the new release, Trent and Hearst as ever play all the instruments and penned
the material, which range from stomping rockers to delicate acoustic-based
numbers. Many of Little Seeds’ finely crafted and reflective new songs – completed
in the late summer of 2015 -- are drawn from tumultuous events experienced by the
couple over the course of the last two years.
“There were two major changes that happened at the same time,” Hearst says. “We
found out we were pregnant, and at the same time Michael’s parents had been living
with us, because his father is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Those two things,
having the baby and facing the reality that our parents were aging, made this weird,
awesome circle of humanity that really just took us out. I guess we were in the
crosshairs of human existence.” Trent continues, “We started putting this record
together right after the baby was born. Every spare moment I had I was in the studio
doing my best to work around the cries, and Cary would have to sneak up and do
her parts when the baby was asleep. It’s a funny thing trying to make a rock n roll
record with a sleeping baby in the house.”
Hearst adds, “As we were finishing the record and making the final decisions about
what to include in it, our good friend Eric was killed here in town. We ended up
dedicating the record to his memory. The beginning of ‘This Ride’ is actually Eric’s
mother telling the true story of how he had been born in the back of a police car.
With her blessing, we added that to frame ‘This Ride.’”
“Invisible Man” and “Mourning Song,” were directly inspired by the debilitating illness
faced by Trent’s father. Hearst says of the former song, “The disease is preventing
him from being able to mentally wrap his mind around it. I wanted to speak for him.
I wanted to express what it would be like for a man like him, a capable, funny dude.
I wanted to put that in an up-tempo pop song, because it’s always interesting for
dark material to be presented that way.”
Of “Mourning Song,” Trent says, “I was envisioning what it was going to be like for
my mother after he wasn’t around anymore. It’s weird, maybe, to write a song about
the death of your father who hasn’t died yet. It seemed like something he would do –
write a tune to comfort my mother after he’s gone.
The hushed, moving spoken word “BWYR”, a song of unity at a time when some try
to divide, is torn from an event close to home: the mass shootings at Charleston’s
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015.
“The night we heard about it, we were in Denver and approaching the end of ‘touring
while pregnant’, which was pretty intense,” Trent says. “We flew to Chicago, our
show was cancelled – it was rained out – and we were stuck in the hotel, and that’s
where it was written. We were talking to our friends and texting, and we wanted to
be home so bad, to be with our people. These mass shootings seemed to be
happening every weekend, and the thought of bringing a child into the world was
overwhelming and scary.”
“Buffalo Nickel” takes on the most personal of all subjects: Trent and Hearst’s
relationship as a married couple who also collaborate creatively. Only as the song
developed did they begin to understand its topic. “We were trying to figure out what
the story was about,” Trent says, “and the more we wrote on it, we said, ‘Are we
talking about us here? Are we airing some things here?’” Without a beat, Hearst
adds with a laugh, “And we were.”
Little Seeds also contains songs that deploy Shovels and Rope’s widely admired
talents as storytellers: the thrashing “I Know,” a wryly observed description of intraband
backbiting, and “Botched Execution,” a darkly funny tale of a convict on the run
in the manner of Southern gothic writer Flannery O’Connor. Inspired by a concise
history written by Hearst’s father, “Missionary Ridge” looks back at the decisive 1863
Civil War battle.
The album also tips a hat to the group’s Americana forebears. “The Last Hawk” pays
homage to Garth Hudson, the master keyboardist of the Band, who Hearst calls “a
quiet genius, this weird, wonderful creature who can do anything with music.” Trent
recalls, “There was an article in Rolling Stone that was one of the first things you’d
ever seen where it was just Garth, explaining things from his take. We read it on an
airplane, and I looked over at Cary, and she was crying – it really moved her.”
Both Trent and Hearst acknowledge that making Little Seeds took the band into
previously unexplored and even unimagined creative terrain.
“It was cathartic,” says Trent. “There were some songs we had trouble getting
through because it was too emotional for us. That’s not really how we had
approached songwriting in the past -- we got really into writing character-based
songs on Swimmin’ Time. For Little Seeds, this is what was going on, and it was all
consuming, physically and emotionally, and I feel like we couldn’t help but to be very
raw and honest.”
Hearst says, “At a certain point in your relationship, professional or personal, you
think it’s maybe run its course – ‘We can’t possibly write more together than we have
in the past. We can’t possibly live closer than we have in the past. We can’t possibly
understand each other more.’ But in the last couple of years, that has happened. We
have become even more intimate as writing partners, and in life, collaboratively. It
showed me that there were new depths to conquer in our creative life and our
personal life and our family life. It’s all deeper and wider than I could ever have
imagined it. Which is great.”

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