Shovels & Rope, Valerie June, Shakey Graves

The cream of the indie-Americana crop, spiked with whiskey and whipped to a tantalizing peak. Husband and wife duo Shovels & Ropes’s “first rate tunes, from raucous anthems to dark story songs,” (New Yorker) can be as loud as a truckstop full of bikers or as pretty as springtime in their Charleston, SC home. The astonishing Valerie June, “a major star in waiting,” (London Evening Standard) blends rural roots and country that crosses Alan Lomax’s acoustic field recordings with biting, electric indie-blues. Shakey Graves conjures spare, spooky folk with a guitar, a modified suitcase/kick drum, and a voice that “jumps from a whisper to a yelp.” (Austin360)