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As the Brontë sister wrote, “The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine.” Shovels & Rope, the musical duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, embody that bond. Married for a decade, their covenant extends to blood and beyond: as lovers, parents, bandmates, and creative collaborators who can now add the pursuits of festival curators, film subjects, and children’s book authors to that mighty list. 

Having released a fistful of albums since 2008, Trent and Hearst have built their reputation on skill,sweat, and, yes, blood. Now, with the tough and elegant new record By Blood, as well as their High Water Festival in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, Shovels & Rope: The Movie, and the picturebook C’Mon Utah!, Shovels & Rope are primed for their biggest year yet.