Shovels and Rope, 2012

A documentary film is in the works about Shovels and Rope, the irresistible husband-wife duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. From the looks of the trailer, the Nashville filmmakers known as The Moving Picture Boys will be exploring the daily life behind the pair’s outlaw-country stage persona, with numerous chickens, dogs, and a motorcycle featured prominently.

The feature-length film, titled The Ballad of Shovels and Rope, will include a look at the recording process for the band’s forthcoming album O’ Be Joyful.

Jace Freeman, the three-person film team’s director and co-producer, says he hopes the film will convey the couple’s “charm, openness, and authenticity.”

“The most valuable thing that I’ve learned from the band is in relation to creating art and the pursuit of success,” Freeman says. “It seems like Michael and Cary define success not by fame or fortune, but success to them is having the opportunity to pursue their passion. To quote one of the songs off the new record, ‘It ain’t what you got, it’s what you make.'”

The Moving Picture Boys previously made two documentaries about Haiti in the wake of the country’s disastrous 2010 earthquake, so a band biopic should make for an interesting change of subject matter for the team.

Fresh off the SXSW stage in Austin, Texas, Michael and Cary Ann are currently working their way back east for a show at the Pour House on Fri. April 27 with supporting acts Jonny Corndawg, the Royal Tinfoil, and Andrew Combs. Visit for more. —Paul Bowers

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