John Hiatt is better known as a songwriter covered by Roseanne Cash, B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Three Dog Night. Jeff Healy Band’s version of Hiatt’s “Angel Eyes” is well known as well. The straight forward rocker “Damn This Town” is a pretty awesome start to John Hiatt’s latest release Dirty Jeans and Mudlside Hymns. The muddy sounding “Detroit Made” is a different sounding song than the rest. The Country flavored “Adios to California” shows the diversity of song choices here. “Train to Birmingham” has the train beat thing going on and a pretty awesome lead guitar.
The acoustic “All the Way Under” is a confessional song. Have you ever been all the way under like I have? I have to say no myself, being single and having no kids. “When New York Had Her Heart Broke” is a touching acoustic song with a long intro. This is John’s songwriting art at it’s finest. Surely one of the high points here. “Til I Get My Lovin’Back” is a real good example of what John sounds like doing one of his songs on a recording. Another tender song with a Country touch and sounding very nice here.
John is Rockin’ again on “I Love That Girl” and it’s another sound on his recordings he does well. This one is pretty darn good. “Hold on For Your Love” is the long rambling acoustic song that progresses into a rocker and a pretty nice John Hiatt epic that is worth a listen. One of the best here. “Don’t Wanna Leave You Now” the acoustic string soaked song finds John holding on to his current feelings. “Down Around My Place” is a “it’s getting dicey in here” self confessional acoustic anthem with a haunting edge to it. It then kicks into high gear half way through to get funky, then fizzles out as a classic. Four and a half stars and essential John Hiatt.
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