For Americana music fans, Santa Claus is coming to town a month early as the husband and wife duo of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, known collectively as Shovels & Rope, announced the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2014 album “Swimmin’ Time” on Nov. 16, to be released just four days later on Nov. 20 and currently streaming in full on NPR. The ten song album of covers, entitled “Busted Jukebox Vol. 1”, is not only notable for its eclectic mix of songs from a multitude of genres, but also for the all-star lineup of Americana friends that Shovels & Rope called upon to help them out.
Musically, the songs should be no surprise to any fan of Shovels & Rope, who have made their name show-stealing festival sets and opening slots with their mix of country, rock, punk, and bluegrass. There’s the requisite covers of Americana titans like Emmylou Harris’ “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”, the album’s only non-collaborative song, and Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend” with Americana Music Association Emerging Artist of the Year Shakey Graves. But there are also some real curve balls here, such as a sublimely understated rendition of Guns n’ Roses’ “Patience” with The Milk Carton Kids or a head turning psychobilly cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Last” with Caroline Rose.
There are also plenty of nods to the legends, from Toussaint McCall’s “Nothing Takes the Place of You” with walking time machine JD McPherson to Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” with the most collaborative band in the world, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, to “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” by Nick Lowe, here lovingly reproduced with help from Lucius.
The full track listing for “Busted Jukebox Vol. 1” is as follows:
“Unknown Legend” (Neil Young)- with Shakey Graves
“Bullet Belt” (Butch Walker)- with Butch Walker
“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” (Nick Lowe)- with Lucius
“Patience” (Guns N’ Roses)- with The Milk Carton Kids
“Boys Can Never Tell“ (J Roddy Walston & The Business)- with J Roddy Walston
“Nothing Takes The Place Of You” (Toussaint McCall)- with JD McPherson
“Last” (Nine Inch Nails)- with Caroline Rose
“Strangers” (The Kinks)- with In-laws
“Perfect Day” (Lou Reed)- with Preservation Hall Jazz Band
“Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” (Emmylou Harris)- featuring Shovels & Rope (solo)
“Busted Jukebox Vol. 1” is streaming now at NPR.org with track by track explanations of the collaborations and songs chosen by Trent and Hearst. It will be available at all major outlets on Nov. 20th.