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Seventeen years ago Rod Picott dropped his tool belt, picked up an acoustic guitar and released his first album Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues. The acclaimed debut put a nail in the coffin of his construction career and ignited his second career as a singer-songwriter. With his new album, Out Past The Wires, that second career reveals itself in full flame.
The sprawling twenty-two song Out Past The Wires ranges from whispery ballads to guitar driven rockers and hits every musical spot between. Like much of Picott’s catalog, many of the songs on Out Past The Wires center around the lives of working people and the losses, defeats and small victories that can come hard won in a calloused world. It is here in the ordinary where Picott finds the gold he mines so beautifully on songs such as “Take Home Pay” – one of four songs written with longtime friend and co-writer Slaid Cleaves.
“I'm on my way down to the pawnshop
A couple hundred is all I need
If I have to I’ll hit the blood bank
I’m bone dry but I can always bleed”
But there is also an air of defiance that runs through many of the songs this time around. On “Fire Inside” Picott growls.
“I got fire down inside
a heart darlin’ beating hard and wild
In the pouring rain
I will stand and testify
Cause I got a fire down inside.”
Picott’s eye for the revealing detail and sense of empathy has brought praise from music critics since his debut and those qualities, as well as a potent defiance is on full display across Out Past The Wires. Now 52 years old and nine albums into his music career Picott is more prolific than ever. The twenty-two songs were culled from a staggering number of seventy-eight. In the two years between Fortune and Out Past The Wires, Picott has also become a published poet (God In His Slippers – Mezcalita Press) written a screenplay and is releasing collection of short stories, also titled Out Past The Wires, that accompanies the release of the album. Many of the characters from the songs on the album find their stories expanded and even more finely detailed in the book.
For production duties Picott turned again to Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Matthew Perryman Jones) who produced Picott’s most recent album Fortune. The recording band consisted of Will Kimbrough/Electric Guitars (Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell) Lex Price/Bass (K.D. Lang), Evan Hutchings/Drums (Brandi Carlisle) and Kris Donegan/Electric Guitars (Sara Evans). The band worked quickly in studio, relying on the instincts of world-class players and Hubbard’s steady hand to guide the ambitious project.
Out Past The Wires is the latest and one of the most potent pieces of work from Rod Picott since he left his hammer to rust and sharpened a new set of tools all those years ago. Picott will be touring throughout 2018 and 2019 in support of the album and book release
The New Album – Out Past the Wires
Official U.S. Release Date March 30
Pre-Sales begin February 1st
“Rod Picott paints his masterpiece..” – Tekst Sjoerd Punter / Alt Country Forum
“Picott as far as I am concerned, definitely in the absolute top.” – Ctrl. Alt. Country
“Highly recommended!” – Lambert Smits / Keys and Chords
“Belongs to Picott's best work” – Cis van Looy / Written In Music
The latest cd Fortune is now available...
“mesmerizing” - Rolling Stone.com
“songs like Raymond Carver short stories” - Houston Chronicle
“proves once again he’s a ringmaster at turning misery into art” - Boston Globe
“carefully crafted and vibrant” - American Songwriter
“perfectly crafted” - NewsHub
“it’s the songwriting that really makes the difference” - The Bluegrass Situation
“a truly great songwriter” - 3rd Coast Music
“poignant, blatantly honest and emotive” - The Boot
“seriously gifted” - No Depression
Year End Note- 2014 was a wonderful year for Rod Picott’s Circus of Misery and Heartbreak. Here are a fistful of highlights from the many…
Hang Your Hopes On A Crooked Nail reached #22 on the Americana Music Association Airplay Chart and nestled in the top 40 for 8 weeks making it one of the 100 most played albums of the year.
Novelist Nicholson Baker [Vox, The Anthologist, House Of Holes] sent an email and invited me to eat a sandwich with him sometime. This is the best email I’ve ever received.
The Broken Jukebox website named Hang Your Hopes On A Crooked Nail the #5 album of 2014.
In NYC I parked in an illegal spot for several hours while playing a show and didn’t get a ticket.
Australian DJ Colin Fielding named Hang Your Hopes On A Crooked Nail the #1 album of the year for his radio program “Far & Away”.
I played a house concert in the house where I grew up in South Berwick Maine. It was much better than the show I played to myself in the bedroom mirror when I was 13 pretending my tennis racket was a guitar. What a relief.
BBC Radio legend Bob Harris played “Milkweed” on his BBC Country program in October. Bob has one of the great radio voices ever and it’s a thrill to hear him say your name. He once hollered to me across the lobby of a hotel in Nashville and I thought either God or James Earl Jones was calling to me.
“Trouble Girl” from 2007’s Summerbirds cd was featured in the season ending episode of the television show Justified.
Now back to work…
"Accept Rod Picott for what he is; Americana of the highest order"
Julian Piper/ Acoustic Magazine
"Gems that finely balance despair, desire and optimism with dexterity"
Arthur Wood/Maverick Magazine
"Hangdog lyrics and deadpan delivery have the ability to strike a chord with anyone who has a heart."
Alison Stokes/Country Music People
"The world of Americana music has recognised that Rod is one of the finest singer-songwriters on the scene today. It really is about time that everybody else caught on to that fact."
The UK tour is booked and finalized. Looking forward to a trip across the deep blue with support guests Wild Ponies. Bringing a small but mighty three piece band we're calling Rod Picott & The Gun Shy Dogs. Netherlands, Germany and Norway dates as well. Check out one of the posters for the UK dates...
Take a look around. It's easy to navigate - simple as hammer and pretty as a cut nail. There are new tour dates added to the Tour page, new photos on the Photos page and after many requests over the last few years, there is finally a beautiful new Rod Picott's Circus of Misery and Heartbreak T-shirt available. The incredibly soft, high quality T-shirt comes in Guinness Brown and Lonely Blue and is only available right here...READ MORE