Rock Duo Demands Your Happiness

New York -- The phrase "O' Be Joyful" is more than an album title for the country-rock duo Shovels & Rope. It's a command.

It's hard not to be swept up in the spirit watching Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent perform, switching off on guitars, harmonicas, a keyboard and makeshift drum set with tambourine attached. They've been compared to Johnny Cash and June Carter, although the vocal mix often recalls Exene Cervenka and John Doe of the punk band X.

They developed a following gradually, selling out every venue on their last tour and performing "Birmingham" on David Letterman's "Late Show." The song tells of the courtship of this Charleston, S.C.-based married couple.

"It solidified what we do for a living to our parents in a certain way," Hearst said. "Now that we're full-grown adults, our parents can relax in their easy chairs knowing that we managed
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