Starting at the end – just for a change – I’ll Say that Rod Picott’s “Hang Your Hopes On A Crooked Nail” is an earnest album. There is nothing inherently wrong with either songs or performance but it is the simple truth that it does not climb the blue collar mountain that was his previous album “Welding Burns”.
The storytelling skills and lyrical elegance are there as is Mr Picott’s world weary voice but there is a certain lack of spirit permeating this album as if he knew he was getting close to the point of having nothing interesting to say. “65 Falcon” is a case in point. There is nothing wrong with doing a song about a car but, let’s face it, you have bring some soul to the gas station to stop the song dying on the highway of indifference.
Like I said, there is nothing inherently wrong here but the album seems directionless and the results more than a little anodyne. It’s not as if there aren’t hundreds of Americana tinged singer songwriters doing exactly the same thing so Mr Picott might want to consider sharpening up his act or he will find himself in the hell of being half way down the festival bill forever.