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Shovels and Rope’s new album “By Blood” is the boldest effort yet by the married duo who specialize in bringing together disparate elements. Being expectant parents, most of the songs dwell on human vulnerability with a quite a fervor. 

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have been recording as Shovels and Rope for seven years alternating between gentle acoustic ballads and aggressive, full throated rock and roll.

One of the songs has been turned into a children’s book, it’s a story about a magic horse that the power to help immigration problems on the border

Nakedly raw and on the edge but with a uncharacteristic element of organization, Shovels and Rope live up to the potential that their earlier albums have shown. Perhaps because of being young parents, the title, "By Blood" is the common theme that makes this album sound consistently great.