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Rod Picott Link:

Rod Picott

Rod Picott
Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues

2001, Welding Rod Records

It’s easy to take Rod Picott’s debut album and throw out the usual comparisons—A voice that evokes part John Cougar with a little of Tom Waits, the working class characters of vintage Bruce Springsteen, bluesy roots-rock that brings to mind the best of John Hiatt. Instead, take Rod Picott for what he is: A great storyteller.

The album is packed with clever turns-of-phrases and full of vivid imagery. The title track is the tale of a boxer: “Tiger Tom Dixon had a gift from God / He could hit you quick, he could hit you hard.” “On and On” tells about “Romeo,” who’s better years were long gone at eighteen: “With his red bandana, and the tattoos down his arms / he thinks he looks like Axl Rose / Yeah that’s what his friends all said back in high school / Now he’s wondering where all the time goes.”

Slaid Cleaves fans take note: Two songs co-written by Picott and Cleaves, “Broke Down” and “Bring It On,” are on “Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues.” (“Broke Down” was a number one hit on the Americana charts for Cleaves.) Picott’s version has some lyrical variations from the Cleaves cut, which was the title song to Cleaves last album, “Broke Down.”

“Billy gave Sherry a band of gold
rougher than a Bible-belt road
along came a boy pretty as the devil
she took his hand and it all unraveled
there ain’t no turning ‘round
it’s broke down.”

“Bring It On” is also quite different from the Cleaves version. Picott’s is bluesy, laced in his gravelly vocals.
Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues is a debut album that is often downright scary in the vividness of its storytelling.—Michael Gaither

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