Rod Picott calls what he does “the circus of heartbreak and misery.” His latest release, “Fortune,” weds his marvelous lyrical economy to music that ranges from spare acoustic guitar to a clanging junkyard sound, and proves once again that he’s a ringmaster at turning misery into art. The fortune here is mostly rough. Love is hard: “You kept track of all my failures and counted them one by one,” begins the bitter recrimination “I Was Not Worth Your Love,” while “Jeremiah” sketches the void left by a soldier’s death in the desert — strikingly, written and sung in his widow’s voice. Life, too, is hard: “This world is a dangerous place,” asserts the song of the same name, proceeding to a series of terse, elliptical illustrations of the point. Still, “Spare Change” seems to end things on a note of shimmering potential, with a chance encounter and Picott singing “God’s gifts, they come down small/ Babies and diamonds and spare change.” (Out Friday)
Rod Picott performs at Club Passim on Aug. 24.Stuart Munro can be reached at email@example.com.