J Roddy Walston With Shovels & Rope, “Boys Can Never Tell”

by | Feb 4, 2014

Now this is an interesting approach to making a video. Rather than shoot a standard clip in which the studio version of a song is synced up to entertaining footage of one sort or another, as J. Roddy Walston And The Business did for “Heavy Bells,” their previous single, they’ve gone the live performance route for “Boys Can Never Tell,” the followup single from latest album Essential Tremors.

Now this is an interesting approach to making a video. Rather than shoot a standard clip in which the studio version of a song is synced up to entertaining footage of one sort or another, as J. Roddy Walston And The Business did for “Heavy Bells,” their previous single, they’ve gone the live performance route for “Boys Can Never Tell,” the followup single from latest album Essential Tremors. In fact, singer/songwriter/piano player extraordinare J. Roddy Walston isn’t even working with his traditional band, The Business, on this track. Instead, he’s enlisted Shovels & Rope, the husband-wife folk-country duo from Charleston, South Carolina, as his collaborators.

In fact, you’d be forgiven if you felt for most of this clip like Shovels & Rope were the lead artists here. With drummer Cary Ann Hearst taking the lead vocal part on the song while guitarist Michael Trent harmonizes and J. Roddy mostly sticks to his tiny electric keyboard, this seems less like an alternate arrangement of the Business song and more like a full-on cover. However, J. Roddy takes over on lead vocal for the song’s mournful bridge, and immediately proves that it’s still his song with his loud, powerful voice. It just goes to show that this guy’s talent will come out regardless of the forum in which he’s placed. And getting to see him provide the proof in such an unusual setting is worth a lot more than some standard promo clip any day.

Shovels & Rope are on tour now, but the closest they’re coming to Richmond is Carrboro NC on March 5. J. Roddy Walston & The Business’s next local show is on May 10 at The National, opening for Cage The Elephant and Foals. And of course, Essential Tremors is still available if you haven’t picked it up already.

By Andrew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.
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