Some prefer not to mix their work and personal lives, but for folk band Shovels and Rope, both are intertwined. The married duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst will perform at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Wednesday night.
Trent and Hearst said they have performed in Bloomington, but never at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Hearst said they are currently on tour and getting the opportunity to play in more relaxed atmospheres.
“We’re playing a lot of songs that we normally don’t get to do when we’re touring rock clubs,” she said. “The venues become kind of a good place to still feel like rock 'n' roll, but really sit and listen to the songs instead of like clubbing out.”
Hearst said it was a little bit of fate and a little bit of family logistics that brought about the creation of Shovels and Rope because she and Trent were married before they began performing together.
“When we were working in Charleston, we had this cool bar gig where me and Michael would kind of do a stripped-down thing,” she said. “We mixed and matched each other’s songs, and that just kind of magically compiled itself into something we could take on the road.”
Trent said he and his wife write songs together and separately, but Hearst said their latest album, “Little Seeds,” was the most collaborative. The duo were on its previous tour for eight months of Hearst's pregnancy, and in addition to planning for the birth of the baby, the two were planning their next record as well, Hearst said.
“We were crazy and tired and excited and also under a little bit of a time pressure,” Hearst said. “It kind of was a cool thing. We had one of us going out of the room for a couple hours and then coming back and kind of working really quickly. That was really awesome. We’ve been together forever, and we’ve been working together forever, but this is a new, kind of cool thing that we’ve been doing together.”
Hearst said their daughter is on tour with them now and that they spend most waking hours with her. She said it was difficult to record an album while taking care of a newborn but that she and Trent were able to find balance.
“It was harrowing, but it was cool to be able to do that," she said. "So many people just go to a nine-to-five and don’t get to spend these random, crazy hours with their baby, and that was cool even though that was challenging to execute the noise.”
Trent said their latest album deals with themes related to life changes and that writing the songs for the album was therapeutic in a way.
“I think that maybe songwriters can be their own therapists sometimes,” he said. "I’d say definitely with this album, probably more than others, there was a lot going on in our lives and in our families.”
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