Rod Picott and Amanda Shires – Sew Your Heart with Wires

EP Review | Welding Rod Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

On the eve of their European tour which kicks off in Staffordshire at the end of the month, Nashville-based Rod Picott and Amanda Shires dropped off an advanced promotional copy of their forthcoming album Sew Your Heart With Wire, which is just about ready for imminent release.  The handful of songs provided here showcase a duo endeavoring to keep it live, with little fuss in the studio; no overdubs, no embellishments, just two voices, a guitar and a fiddle.  The duo is possessed of two voices that dovetail perfectly in harmony but at the same time have their own distinct identity.  Amanda’s voice on the standout track “You Can Call Me Baby” is reminiscent of classic Shawn Colvin, and deserves to be heard independently occasionally.  A classically trained violinist, the West Texan served her apprenticeship in a couple of local Lubbock bands before recording her own solo album and teaming up with Rod Picott, a singer/guitar player from Maine, who already had a bunch of songs under his belt and the ability to tell a good story.  If the songs on this collection have a certain immediacy about them, it’s because some of them were recorded on the day the couple wrote them.  The opening song “Drive That Devil Out” for instance, utilizes a familiar melody with a new set of words; handy when it comes to off-the-cuff writing.  This vocal ‘jamming’ indicates perhaps what we should expect when seeing the duo live.  “When You Get Your Story Told” is a gospel song which should have the same sort of regular finisher quality as “Will the Circle be Unbroken” and I can imagine many will be leaving gigs up and down the country over the next month or so, with this ringing in their ears.