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Ready to Rock?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Local favorites Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent will be playing the main stage at Middleton Place this weekend. Photographs by (Shovels & Rope) Leslie Ryan McKellar & courtesy of (Finale) Spoleto Festival USA

June 4, 2014

Ready to Rock?
Shovels & Rope headlines Sunday’s Spoleto Finale—and it’s a party you won’t want to miss

You can always count on Spoleto to go out—quite literally—with a bang. But before fireworks light the sky above Middleton Place, a fantastic, get-on-your-feet band, such as Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, always gets the crowd grooving. And this year’s finale on Sunday, June 8, promises to be extra rollicking, with Shovels & Rope, homegrown talents shining in the national spotlight, taking the stage.

Alt-rockers in country drag, husband-and-wife duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst independently are formidable performers. (Trent was a member of the indie pop-rock band The Films and has two solo albums to his credit; Hearst also has recorded two solo albums, one of which yielded the sinister and hypnotic “Hells Bells,” which was featured on the HBO series True Blood.) However, it is their collective voice and their poetic insights into the enduring struggle between darkness and light that make them stand out.

Their plaintive harmonies and austere arrangements evoke images of imperfect characters navigating complicated and heartbroken lives on a wayward odyssey towards redemption and freedom. Expect to be moved by beautifully written songs, sung with passion, that are stark, profound, and distinctly Americana. Their raw energy in concert with the electricity of the capacity crowd will create the perfect atmosphere for the festival’s climax.

For tickets ($30; $10 child) to the finale at Middleton Place, click here. Gates open at 3:30 p.m., music begins on the Beer Garden Stage at 4:15 p.m., and Shovels & Rope plays at 8:30 p.m.

For our tips on doing the Spoleto Finale right, click here.