Every album needs a catalyst, something to make the creative juices flow. It could be a political stance, a new relationship, death of a loved one or something as simple as a guitar riff that acts as a kickstart to unlocking the songs. In Rod Picott’s case it was a health scare, a frightening double-header of a heart issue and problems with his back that later required an operation, this physical restriction led to the decision to record when and how comfortable, so, armed with simple recording methods we’ve got the album ‘Tell The Truth & Shame The Devil.
It’s an intimate, personal album and will no doubt draw comparisons to Bob Dylan, and it’s easy to see why, Dylan is the master of producing songs based around the trio of voice, guitar and harmonica which is what is on show here. It’s a very stripped back, raw album which suits the roughed-up growl of Picott’s weather-worn voice delivering world-weary stories boosted by well-crafted lyrics. Actually it’s within these lyrics that the album truly soars, from ‘Mama’s Boy’ to ‘Too Much Rain’ with words “She was the quiet girl with worn out shoes, long sleeves covered up the bruise” painting a picture of small town America where life is fuelled by hard work and hard drinking.
The albums pick is ‘A Beautiful Light’, co-written by Ben De La Cour, another talented writer with a nose for dark characters, and the song matches a catchy chorus with descriptive words, Bruce Springsteen will be kicking himself for not writing this!
Any album lives and dies by it’s songs and there is much to like here, the intimacy works very well with the words almost being whispered into your ears, it’s like a slow drive down Main Street with Picott pointing out the people you see and telling their backstories.
If you like your music reflective, patient and insightful, give it a listen.