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The Boston Globe

Music

Shovels & Rope find new life after murder ballads

Shovels & Rope is the performing name of husband-and-wife pair Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. But this is no acoustic, singer-songwriter duo (although they’re perfectly capable of that): Trent and Hearst view themselves as a band, and one that is fond of making noise, of bringing “less is more” to loud life. The band, which comes to Johnny D’s Saturday night, has just released “O’ Be Joyful,” its second album — or its first, depending on how you look at things in light of the band’s unusual, kinda-sorta accidental beginnings.

Speaking by conference call along with his wife from their home in Charleston, S.C., Trent elaborates on those beginnings. “I was playing in a band called the Films, and Cary Ann was playing with her own band. We had been pretty busy with our own separate projects, and we decided to make an album, which we titled “Shovels & Rope” [and released under their own names in late 2008] just as a pet project on the side while we were doing our own thing. We never really planned on being in a band together.”

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