Rod Picott Has Great Fortune – A Review

Read our review of ‘Fortune’ by singer songwriter Rod Picott

rod picott fortune

Rod Picott is a seriously gifted lyricist – a writer of words and phrases that resonate and lead to reflection.  On Fortune, his new release out on August 14 (Welding Rod Records), he presents us with songs about heartache and revision, with a voice that is seductive and breathy (a la Leonard Cohen).  There’s also a ramshackle quirkiness in some of the arrangements that is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Waits.

Picott, who worked hanging sheet rock in New England before moving to Nashville twenty years ago, reportedly set out to make Fortune sound like one of his live shows.  And it definitely sounds clean and raw and is simpatico with the introspection of the material.  The first six songs were recorded in one day(!) and all recording duties over in less than two weeks.

“Maybe That’s What It Takes” is a beautiful ballad with wry observations about suffering making you stronger, leading to some form of renewal.  “Elbow Grease” is more strident and more country with a plea for another go – ‘one more chance is all I need..I got a lucky charm and elbow grease’ and “Until I’m Satisfied” has a creeping, stealthy, steadfast framework, biting lyrics and Will Kimbrough’s nice atmospheric guitar work:

Well bless your crooked heart, babe

Crooked as a dog’s hind leg’

and

‘I made a dirty dollar

I took it to the well

Dropped it down in the money hole

It went all the way to hell’

“This World Is A Dangerous Place” is a short, sharp cautionary tale while “I Was Not Worth Your Love” is another song about accepting a break up –  ‘you always liked the broken ones,didn’t you..I wasn’t wrecked enough for you’.  “Jeremiah” is just voice and an acoustic guitar, a poignant and tender story of a soldier’s death in a foreign land and the impact that has on a family.

“I’m On your side” continues the love theme with the sound of a closing door ending proceedings, perhaps not happily?  The playful “Uncle John” contains a fascinating percussive strength and power tremolo guitar. “Alicia” is extremely intimate with nice finger picking while “Drunken Barber’s Hand” is the opposite – riddled with observations about the madness and haphazard nature of life and humanity, namely:

‘I’m old enough to know

There’s not much left to see

Just a bunch of fools carving

Their names in the tree’

In “Secret Heart” Picott opines that ‘time is the blackest of the arts’ and the closing “Spare Change” refers to when:

‘Rain falls when God spills his cup

We’re down here forever cleaning it up’

You can listen to “Spare Change” at Rolling Stone Country.

You can watch “I Was Not Worth Your Love” at The Bluegrass Situation.

As well as Kimbrough (Steve Earle, Guy Clark) handling the electric guitar parts with aplomb, producer Neilson Hubbard doubles as the group’s drummer and Lex Price joins in on bass.

Fortune is a great album, a treat for those that love discerning storytelling and the deep end of the pool.

Read our review of ‘Fortune’ by singer songwriter Rod Picott

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Author: Rob Dickens

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