Michael Trent takes top spot with a new solo album 

And The Winner is...

A lot of work goes into making an album, long days spent writing and even longer nights recording. So now that local songsmith Michael Trent has released his second solo album, a party is in order. The Winner, out now on Shrimp Records, gets a well-deserved welcome this weekend.

"We're excited about the show, since the Shrimp team will be in town," Trent says. "We're working up a cool set to recreate the record."

Trent is a prominent member of the local scene, playing with indie pop-rock band The Films and with his wife, Cary Ann Hearst, in the duo Shovels & Rope. Trent and Hearst have had a healthy collaboration for years, playing a unique blend of country and backwoodsy blues. The duo's artistic chemistry is startling.

For fans of Shovels & Rope's 2008 self-titled album, The Winner will please the ears. "Even though these are my songs, I still have people play on it and sometimes help write song parts," Trent says.

You'll still hear Hearst belting it out under Trent's prominent vocals. Notice that harmonica solo? That's probably her too.

With all this teamwork, it might seem wrong to just showcase The Winner. That's why Trent is bringing along the whole Shrimp Records family to join the fun. "When it's live, we work together even more so," he says. "There are so many different projects people have put together for one show. We never know who's going to be playing what. It's fun to collaborate in different ways."

Lablemates Bill Carson, Joel Hamilton, Sadler Vaden, Jack Burg, and Owen Beverly will be around to share the stage, like one big family band. At each Shrimp show, the artists like to release a special collaboration. For the gig this week, they'll have a cover song compilation, with each Shrimp artist covering each other's songs.

"I'm doing a Bill Carson song," Trent says. "Even though it doesn't sound much like his recording, it's cool to hear everyone's interpretations. We'll do a full set from The Winner to showcase that record. But there's much more going on. We've got surprises planned. Everybody is going to get a chance to perform in one way or another."


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