Rod Picott is the songs he sings. Since before Woody Guthrie songwriters have soaked their public image in sepia tones singing about the working life but Picott bears the scars of actually living that blue collar life. Rod Picott’s songs are inhabited by sheetrock hangers, drinkers, circus hands, boxers and working girls and he sings about his characters with intimacy. Listening to a Rod Picott album you can smell the gasoline on a mechanics hands and the perfume of lovers in dark corners.
The son of a welder and former Marine, Picott grew up in the small mill town of South Berwick, Maine. His father’s record collection spanned Ray Charles to John Philip Sousa and James Brown. His is older brother introduced him to the punk poetry of Lou Reed and Patti Smith. The tall, wiry framed Picott worked as a sheetrock worker out of high school until he released his first cd, Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues.
In the singer-songwriter and Americana world Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves, Fred Eaglesmith have been proclaimed some the best writers working and they have all recorded songs written or co-written by Rod Picott. Picott’s “Broke Down” released on Rounder Records by co-writer and artist Slaid Cleaves became the most played song on Americana radio and was awarded the song of the year award at the Austin Music Awards. In 2010 “Broke Down” found new life in the soundtrack to the Brian Koppelman written and directed film Solitary Man starring Michael Douglas. In that same year Picott’s song “Circus Girl” was featured in the PBS documentary Circus.
Rod Picott has released five solo cds and one cd with his sometimes duo partner Amanda Shires– all to excellent reviews and extensive touring. Picott has been featured in No Depression magazine, on BBC 2 Radio London, Sirius/XM Radio and in Maverick magazine (U.K.) Picott has produced a CD for Rounder Records, toured as opening act for Alison Krauss and Union Station and played the prestigious Shrewsbury Folk and Maverick festivals in England –along with Take Root & Blue Highways Festivals in Holland. He tours in a Jeep Cherokee with a current odometer reading of 240,300 miles and also tours annually in Europe and the U.K.- playing 120 plus shows yearly. Picott is lauded for his narrative and melodic songwriting, passionate delivery and darkly humorous onstage storytelling.
“…an artist who deserves to be heard” – Mary Gauthier
“… beautiful” Nate Dow/Boston Herald
“… Maine’s finest songwriter” Arthur Wood/Maverick Magazine
“…expertly nurtured and nuanced” The Daily Mirror
“…impressive songs” Q Magazine
“…an album for our times.” Joe Breen/IrishTimes
“…everything Picott touches turns to gold here.” Jason MacNeil/Country Standard Time
“…a striking collection of songs” Jay N Miller/The Patriot Ledger
“…Beautiful and heartbreaking songs-one of the best on the Americana and folk scene” – Slaid Cleaves
“…If you’re a fan of great songwriting, you’re a fan of Rod Picott. Simple as that.” – Brian Koppelman [Director/Screenwriter -Oceans Thirteen, Solitary Man, Rounders]
“…major major talent” Robert Oerrman Music Row Magazine