It’s currently a little cooler today (fingers crossed that it stays that way) and for the first time in months we have the front door and living room windows open. Needless to say the cats are pretty excited. I am too because, hey, maybe this means I don’t have to suffer so badly on today’s planned 7k drill run. This is my only workout of the day seeing as how we’re going to see the Bluejays play this evening on what will likely be our last “Date Night” before you know who comes back, so I’m maximizing the comfortably “happy factor” on this run with the self-title album by Shovels & Rope.
This album was released back in 2013 and I remembered seeing it for sale in the used bin at Niagara Records in St. Catharines. I thought, “hey, that’s a cool album cover” but then I passed up on it because I also wasn’t very familiar with the band at that time. Two weeks later, I was introduced to their ‘Swimmin’ Time‘ album (thank you, Patterson) and loved it so I went back and, alas, someone else had already snatched it up.
But thanks to the marvel of technology I found a digital copy of the album instead and, hence, my listening to it now.
In case you’ve missed my other posts about the band, Shovels & Rope consist of husband and wife duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst hailing from Charleston, South Carolina. Hearst was born in Mississippi in 1979 and raised in Nashville from 1987 until she attended the College of Charleston in 1997. During school she began performing music as a solo artist in local bars and venues and after graduating she toured, recorded and performed with various groups including Caravan and Borrowed Angels. Hearst saw Trent, born in Denver but relocated to Charleston, performing with his band The Films in 2002 and they began touring with various artists including Jump, Little Children. Hearst released her first solo album ‘Dust and Bones’ in 2006 and Trent released his self-titled solo album, also his first, in 2007. Somewhere along the line they decided to combine their efforts and Shovels & Rope was born.
This is actually their 2nd album (‘O Be Joyful‘ being their first) helping to earn them the emerging artist of the year at the 2013 Americana Music Honors & Awards. The album is what I would now expect to hear from the band having now been well acquainted with them, haunting murder ballads (‘Mexico‘, ‘Boxcar‘), great stories (‘1200 Miles‘), raunchy songsmith (‘Magdelina‘) and flat out raucous bluesy numbers (‘Hollowpoint Blues‘) which set great tempo’s to build up my 2k intervals with. I’ve come to admire the bands unabashed willingness to take on serious topics and do so artfully and tastefully through lyrical narrative and musical commentary. ‘Build Around Your Heart a Wall‘, ‘Mother’s Scorn‘, and ‘Swing Low‘ are prime examples of their ability to engage a listener and feel what they do. There are no euphemisms, no gimmicks, just honest, barebones songwriting to help along a good ‘ol honest attempt at easy running.
My running is far from where is was back in May and June but it’s coming along. At least, given I wasn’t sucking for air in the 5000% humidity. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still warm out but, but I wasn’t roasting my insides from the inside out either so I could do a bit more for longer than I’ve typically been doing these past few weeks. I even managed to get off the Friendship Trail as well and ran down along Nigh Rd. and then back along Burleigh Rd. and North Shore Dr. which I haven’t done for a while because there is little shade and, therefore, reprieve from the sun.
I was still a relatively easy workout, but I’m confident that taking it easy is still the smart thing to do and given a little more time, I’ll be rocking out the fartlek and tempo runs once again.
Bring on autumn, baby.