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Rod Picott - Out Past the Wires

  by Stephen Simkin

published: 26 / 3 / 2018

Rod Picott - Out Past the Wires
Label: Welding Rod Records
Format: CD X2


Compelling Americana on new double album from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Rod Picott

I always worry when my favourite artists start funding albums via Kickstarter, but I recognise it is an economic reality for many in an era of streaming music, where very few artists can sustain a career based on sales of physical media. Thankfully, Rod Picott’s new album, 'Out Past the Wires', was the subject of a hugely successful crowdfunding venture, with the target being reached days of the launch. Produced by Neilson Hubbard, who also produced Picott’s previous album 'Fortune', 'Out Past the Wires' is a collection of twenty-two songs on double vinyl and double CD that was apparently whittled down from seventy-eight songs and song fragments. Picott is nothing if not prolific. The twenty-two songs that made the cut are varied in terms of style and arrangement. The early, country-folk Picott of little masterpieces like 'Girl from Arkansas' and 'Not Going Down' is well represented here by songs such as 'Holding On' but there are also some great full band country-rockers like the tremendously catchy 'On the Way Down', 'Store Bought' and the slide-guitar driven 'A Better Man'. Throughout, the seasoned band (featuring Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle stalwart Will Kimborough) packs a powerful kick and this sustains the album very effectively, with a sequencing that balances out the finger-picked ballads and the more up tempo material. A particular highlight, and lovely change of pace, is the track that closes the first disc, 'Date of Grace', which features a beautiful string arrangement and haunting melody. As always with Picott, the terrain tends to be bleak – the hard scrabble existence of working people with little to cherish and even less to lose. Part of the appeal of Picott’s writing is the way he can sketch very detailed characters in three or four sparse verses and it is fascinating to hear that he has plans to publish a book of short stories to accompany the album. Rod will be touring Europe, including extensive dates in the UK in February and March of this year. His solo shows are absorbing, and sparkle with his smart humour and anecdotes. Hopefully the intriguing-sounding book of short stories may be available at the gigs too. Catch him if you can.

Track Listing:-
1 Be My Bonnie
2 Better Than I Did
3 Take Home Pay
4 Primer Gray
5 On the Way Down
6 Blanket of Stars
7 A Better Man
8 Coal
9 Holding On
10 Fire Inside
11 Date of Grace
12 Dead Reckoning
13 Falling Down
14 Store Bought
15 The Shape of You
16 Diamonds in the Dirt
17 Hard Luck Baby
18 Medicine Man
19 Straight Job
20 Bottom of the Well
21 We All Live On
22 Little Things

Band Links:-

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