Spend a night with Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, Shovels & Rope at Agora

Agora Cleveland just announced a solid double bill for May 9.

UK rocker Frank Turner — whose music can be thoughtful and raucous, falling in the wide space between folk and rock — with his band The Sleeping Souls shares the evening with Americana duo Shovels & Rope, with Trapper Schoepp listed as the opener.

Turner is touring in support of 2018 album “Be More Kind,” which clearly was influenced by a big event a couple of years ago and boasts a track titled “Make America Great Again.”

“The world decided to go collectively nuts in 2016, and after that it became increasingly difficult as a writer to ignore what was going on, and the changes that seemed to be taking place in the political and social culture of the West,” he says in a news release provided by the Agora.

One of the driving ideas behind Be More Kind is understanding the person you’re fighting against, the release states.

“You should at least be able to inhabit the mental universe of the people you disagree with,” he says. “I think Donald Trump is awful. but I think if you wish to see Donald Trump not be elected for a second term then there is a need to figure out how to talk to Donald Trump supporters that is something else other than screaming at them.”

“Be More Kind” is a political album, the release continues, but more about the rules of the game than it is about a specific event.

“To me, that’s the essence of liberalism,” says Turner, “because to me liberalism is about the rules of interaction more than it is about the content of that interaction.”

Meanwhile, Shovels & Rope — the married-for-a-decade couple Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst — have released four studio albums and have a fifth, “By Blood,” coming in April. (A track from it available now, “The Wire,” is a fairly engrossing tune.)

Above is Shovels & Rope. At top are Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls. (Photos courtesy of The Agora)

The press release elaborates on what they have going on these days:


Trent and Hearst have built their reputation on skill, sweat, and, yes, blood. Now, with the tough and elegant new record By Blood, as well as their High Water Festival in their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, “Shovels & Rope: The Movie,” and the picture book “C’mon Utah!”, Shovels & Rope are primed for their biggest year yet.

Tickets for the show — $27.50 in advance and $32 day of the show for general admission and $49.50 for reserved seats in the mezzanine — go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 8. Start your quest for them or get more info here.


Mark Meszoros always thinks Frank Turner’s music sounds like it would be perfect in a pub — and the Agora’s like a really big pub, so it should do. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros.

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