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Rod Picott (from Paper Hearts and Broken Arrows on Welding Rod Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Like many singer/songwriters of his ilk, Rod Picott is adept at shifting his melodies according to his mood and mindset. Tender and tenacious in equal measure, Picott’s new album Paper Hearts and Broken Arrows finds him making a total emotional commitment to his muse, whether it’s through the quiet contemplation that wafts through the contemplative ballads “Lover”, “Mona Lisa”, and “Valentine Day” or the surging anthemic wail that drives “Though the Dark”, “Washington County”, and “Revenuer”. The circumstances might vary, but Rod Picott manages to share each song with the craft and conviction that they deserve.
Producer Nielson Hubbard, an artist adept at maintaining ambiance and atmosphere, adds his specific imprint, ensuring that these songs resonate with a decided resolve and resilience. Yet at the same time, Picott, and occasional writing partners Said Cleaves, Mark Erreli, and Jennifer Totorici, imbues each offering with an emphatic imprint, shared tales spun from a personal perspective. “Lost in the South”, the aforementioned “Washington County”, “Mark of Your Father”, “Dirty T-Shirt”, “Frankie Lee”, and yes, even the searing “Sonny Liston”, come across as hard-luck, hard-bitten tales of desperate circumstances, all flush with sadness and circumspect yet still retaining the needed resolve to overcome whatever seemingly unsurmountable obstacles are temporarily tossed in their way.
Consequently, Paper Hearts and Broken Arrows lives up to the fragile circumstance suggested by its title. Both song and sentiment resonate in equal measure, each an example of dry determination, as ultimately reflected in the indelible impression that lingers even after the final notes fade away.
Or as Picott sings on the solitary closing track, “Make Your Own Light”:
‘You can ask again and again,
In the dark of the night,
You try and you fail and try again,
To make your own light’
Rod Picott demonstrates that point again and again. A truly brilliant example of skill and savvy, Paper Hearts and Broken Arrows provides all the proof needed. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Buy the music of Rod Picott from the Rod Picott website
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