Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series photo by Melissa Clarke
Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from Rod Picott.
AH: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?
RP: Coffee very strong with just a splash of milk or cream. Keurig does not count!
AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road?)
RP: The hotels in the U.K can be quite quirky. I stayed in a hotel room in York, England that was so small I had to bring the guitar in then go back outside to get my single bag. There was about two feet between the bed and the outside wall. It was comical. I couldn’t hold my guitar and turn around. I had to back out.
AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?
RP: Jason Isbell’s Southeastern. I’m just completely knocked out by that album. There is an incredible scope of style. The writing is so beautiful and it rings with an unselfconsciousness while simultaneously being self-addressing. It’s just an amazing piece of work. Although I once listened to Patty Griffin’s Living With Ghosts on repeat from Austin to Nashville. 13.5 hours.
AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?
RP: Just the Gibson J-45. I’m very adaptable. I also need a book.
AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?
RP: I’m not a food guy so it’s pretty easy for me. Some days I forget to eat. I have friends who adore food and exploring that world but that’s not me. If I can find something fresh, I’m good whatever it is – a salad, a sandwich; I’m easy.
AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?
RP: The highlands of Scotland would be my pick. The land is majestic, rugged, and sparsely populated. I’ve always been taken by that land for some reason.
AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?
RP: My buddy Slaid Cleaves told me a long time ago: Rule number one on the road – never ever run out of cds. You never know if that last show on the tour will be the show that pays the bills.
Find all things Rod Picott, here: http://rodpicott.com/
See other Key to the Highway interviews here: https://americanahighways.org/category/interviews/key-to-the-highway-series/ (click here for: Patterson Hood Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt Sarah Shook & the Disarmers )
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