Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shovels & Rope: "Busted Jukebox Vol 1" (album review)

I was first introduced to the folk/roots duo Shovels & Rope at the 2014 edition of TURF.  While I can't say that it was love at first listen, it was pretty darn close.

The pair recently teamed up with a plethora of friends to produce the surprise covers album Busted Jukebox Vol. 1.  The record is a mix of surprising, and not so surprising choices.

On the not so surprising side, the group is joined by Shakey Graves for a slightly more dissonant rendition of Neil Young's "Unknown Legend", which makes you wonder why more people haven't tackled that track.  "(What's So Funny Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" is given a Gospel finish that suits it perfectly.  The Milk Carton Kids team up with them for Guns N' Roses "Patience" to beautiful ends.

Some surprising pop comes up with Butch Walker joining the band on the incredibly catchy "Bullet Belt".  While it was ambitious to try to tackle Nine Inch Nails' "Last", the results aren't quite up to snuff.

The Lou Reed classic "Perfect Day" seems like it should be right in the wheelhouse for this record, but the presence of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band take it a step or two too far.

The best part is that the album title, Vol. 1, suggests that there will be more to come.

Shovels & Rope play the Danforth Music Hall on February 26th.



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