Growing up in the small mill town of South Berwick, Maine, Picott was exposed to a surprising mix of music. His father, a former marine owned a record collection that spanned from the marches of John Philip Sousa to the rhythm and blues of Ray Charles. His older brother, an avid record collector, introduced Rod to the punk poetry of Patti Smith and The Clash, finishing the groundwork of influences that Rod would draw from later in his own music. Through his teens and early twenties Picott payed his dues bumping around the raucous and thriving local music scene that ran from Boston MA. north to Portland ME.
After a few years in Boulder, Colorado busking on the streets and studying song craft with hit songwriter Stephen Allen Davis, 1994 saw a move to Nashville TN. Picott quickly established himself as one of the sharper penned new writers in town while hosting a weekly showcase called Rod Picott’s Fireside Whiskey Hour. Two years later Picott was invited to be the opening act for Alison Krauss and Union Station on the western swing of their 1997 tour. In 2001 Picott’s co-write with Slaid Cleaves became the most played song on Americana radio when Cleaves Rounder Records release of the same name broke Cleaves to a worldwide audience.
Picott’s own 2001 debut release, Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues, announced his arrival as an artist of note. The album received airplay from Bob Harris on the BBC, and Music Row magazine’s Robert Oermann called the debut, “the birth of a major, major artist”.
2002’s Straydogs displayed even finer skills as a writer and vocalist and featured guest appearances from Alison Krauss and frequent co-writer Slaid Cleaves. The album was embraced by Americana radio and found it’s way onto the chart for 5 weeks. It also found it’s way onto many year’s-best lists in both the States and Europe.
Released in November 2004 , Girl From Arkansas, brought Picott’s eye for lyric detail and whiskey-voiced delivery together with a newfound intimacy.
In 2005 a collection of live performances titled Travel Log was released. Recorded in front of a small crowd in Charlotte N.C. the cd documents a soulful and sometimes magical performance with accompaniment from Dobro and lapsteel player Matt Mauch.
In 2006 Picott co-produced, [with David Henry] Slaid Cleaves’ Rounder Records release Unsung.
In the summer of 2007 Rod assembled some of his favorite musicians. The resulting cd Summerbirds is a beautifully realized collection that contains both full on rockers and the elegant ballads his audience has come to know him for. Maverick magazine called Summerbirds “as damn near perfect as you can get” and gave the album a full five star review. A full band tour through the UK and Italy followed the European release of Summerbirds. Rod and the band played live on the BBC in London and a distribution deal with Proper Distribution was signed for the album.
At the Folk Alliance Conference in Austin Tx. in 2006 Rod Picott met Texas fiddle sensation Amanda Shires. Over the following 2 years they toured throughout the States and Europe playing more than 150 shows together. In the winter of 2008 they began co-writing and recording their debut duo project. Picott and Amanda Shires are currently touring in support of their debut duo release, titled “Sew Your Heart with Wires” . The album is a completely acoustic recording featuring only their two voices, Picott’s guitar and Shires’ fiddle and Ukelele. The songs range from a murder ballad [Little Darlin’] to a gospel rave up [When You Get Your Story Told] to an outlaw narrative [Ruby]. All ten tracks were co-written by Rod Picott and Amanda Shires. The album’s sound is rich, full of texture and drenched with soul and reverb. The album is distributed by Proper Distribution. “Sew Your Heart with Wires” received unanimous rave reviews, reached #7 on the Euro Americana Chart and was voted #4 Best Debut of 2008 by the FAR Chart radio reporters.
Picott released Welding Burns in 2011.
Edited by KeithJones on 13 Feb 2012, 23:03
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