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July 19th 2019 finds Rod Picott releasing his eleventh album, titled Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil. The new album is completely acoustic, featuring only guitar, harmonica and Picott’s weathered vocals. Many of the songs on Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil are influenced by a health scare that Picott endured in the winter of 2018. The condition was hunted down and solved but the weeks long incident of a freight train running through his chest played a profound role in the writing and recording of the album. Alone with his modest recording gear, Picott set about making an album as honest, raw and uncontrived as his spine would allow. Already known for the intimacy and vivid narratives of his previous work, Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil opens the door wider still. The songs are confessional and honest. The recording itself is unpolished and raw. Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil takes a small turn away from the blue collar anthems he’s been lauded for and finds Picott exploring his own inner life with the same deft and revealing hand he’s honed over the last nineteen years. Rod Picott’s health is now in check.
The opening song, “Ghost” reveals Picott’s inner voice announcing itself with introspection, openness and poetic revelation.
I lost a couple of high notes from the top of my voice
From moaning too hard but I guess that was my choice
I drink myself to sleep at night can’t tell myself I don’t
Crawling through the minefield of passing time and losing hope
Hard as nails thin as hope
I’m the punchline of my own joke
And I’m broken as a bone
Going up in smoke
I’m a ghost
One of the songs, “Mama’s Boy” was written with Picott’s long-time co-writing partner Slaid Cleaves. The song asks questions of masculinity and self identification in a world that can be so often cruel and limited. Picott’s own working class childhood is explored nakedly.
They hung a clothesline up to make a ring
Drinking Mickey's Big Mouth the first day of spring
His uncle was a boxer his grandfather too
His father fought a couple times in 62
So they tied the gloves on his shaky hands
Gonna turn that boy into a man
A wasp will sting and flowers grow
Learn to make a fist and when to throw
In his dirty shirt and his corduroys
He wasn’t tough enough he was a mama's boy
Now in his fifties, Rod Picott has garnered a loyal cult audience across the U.S. and Europe. He tours tirelessly and continues to garner rave reviews for both his songwriting skills and darkly humorous, compelling live show.
A prolific writer, Picott has recently turned his hand to poetry (God In His Slippers, Murmmeration – Mezcalita Press) short fiction (Out Past The Wires – Working Title Farm) and has a novel in the works titled A Bony Right Fist. Born in the small mill town of South Berwick Maine and residing in Nashville TN since 1994 Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil is the latest release from former construction worker Rod Picott. Tour dates can be viewed at www.rodpicott.com
The new album, Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil, is recorded, mixed and mastered and is by far the most intimate recording I’ve made, stripped to the bone, just the guitar, harmonica and me. More news soon…Release date July 19th.
"Picott sings with a bare and bones grace reminiscent of Springsteen’s Nebraska and the off the cuff lyrical and musical directness of the late Jason Molina. Too many important artists fly under the musical radar today, and Picott is yet another valid wordsmith that needs to be heard." – Glide Magazine
Quotes from past releases:
“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