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Yet another strong set of songs from John Hiatt, one of music’s survivors both physically and creatively —The Open Road offers arguably his most pure and edgy music in some time.
Aided by his road band of Kenny Blevins (drums), Patrick O’Hearn (bass) and Doug Lancio (electric guitar) all eleven tracks are new and with the likes of ‘Like A Freight Train’ imbued with rich, dusky flavours of the American South coupled with the hedonism of such rousing fare as the blues rocking ‘My Baby’ (that fires the passion in his voice and lyrics like nobody’s business) and rubber burning classic early rock‘n’roll sounding ‘Hauling’ Hiatt and the boys are in great form. This is Hiatt at his best; lyrically and instrumentally as he kicks down a few doors and gets to press one’s buttons —the latter with its simple, effective, 1950s rhythm he cranks it up like only he can as the innocence of youth is captured and the lid stamped down tight. With a voice that barks out the lyrics blue collar style, Hiatt is one of music’s greats and, like a good many of my heroes he inevitably sounds at his best when supported by a lean, keen and stripped down set of musicians.
The cast of personnel used totals just four (and sound like more) with those noted above plus himself who, produced the record playing acoustic, electric guitar and vocals. Recorded in a converted garage during the summer of last year Hiatt gained the inspiration for the album looking through the rear view mirror of life.
On utilising some splendid guitar grooves Hiatt speaks of the country of his birth on ‘Homeland’ and, with his tones possessing a pleading edge the listener can’t ignore him as he ploughs his furrow aided by some guitar riffs akin to the pioneering slick instrumental pop groups of the 1960s. For anyone who enjoys great electric lead guitar music of a full-bodied but tempered nature there is little need to look any farther. ‘What Kind Of Man’ takes few prisoners as he cranks it up and moves over to rock‘n’roll to ignite the flame of love and his passion to set the cornfield ablaze.
As for the mellow, river dredging of the soul he edges relatively slowly through ‘Fireball Roberts’ —that speaks of his love of feeling the road beneath him as he drives his 57 Ford and of how it compares to his love it spits and crackles without ever erupting into flames. Slightly keener and sparked with energy we have the reflective ‘Go Down Swingin’ —then with him looking at the lives close to him and have passed on ‘Movin’ On’ smoulders and evokes imagery of precious days kept on tap in his memory bank.
When it comes to the title track John goes down to the deep south for ‘The Open Road’ and never looks back, and with solid all-round musicianship, harmony vocals it has all that is required to utilise his foot-loose and rambling lyrics in the best possible way. Another to impress greatly is the restless, lead guitar fired ‘What Kind Of Man’ —containing the lyrics ‘I cheated on my love / I cheated on my taxes’ followed by ‘What kind of man do you think I am, babe/ One twist and I would do it all over again’. When it comes to writing songs about cars, women, true-life emotions and a burning desire of the road Hiatt is forever at the front of the grid.
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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.
It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.
The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.
We need reviewers, the idea is we have a correspondents in every area of the musical global village, it will be edited and co-ordinated by Rob Ellen of Medicine Music publicist promoter and presenter, if you wish to subscribe as a correspondent, join up here and drop Rob a line, he will send you cd's and send you to shows, display and publicise your content.
Points Artist / Album Title / Label / * Album of the Month of… (reporter)
HAYES CARLL / What It Is / Dualtone *RK, *JB,*HB,
PHIL LEE / The Horse He Rode In On / Palookaville Records *BH, *PvG,
THE DELINES/ Imperial / El Cortez *PK, *FCe, *LK
VICKY EMERSON / Steady Heart / Independent *MW, *ML
LULA WILES / What Will We Do / Smithsonian Folkways *MM, *MF
SUZANNE JARVIE / In The Clear / Wolfe Island *BP
JESSE DAYTON / On Fire In Nashville / Blue Elan *SZ
KIERAN GOSS & ANNIE KINSELLA / Oh, The Starlings / Independent
CARSON McHONE / Carousel / Loose Music
TINY LEGS TIM / Elsewhere Bound / Independent *TV, *FC,
MANDOLIN ORANGE / Tides of a Teardrop / Yep Roc *BM
LEYLA McCALLA / Capitalist Blues / Jazz Village *DH
ROB HERON & THE TEA PAD ORCHESTRA / Soul Of My City *HBr
SIX MILE GROVE / Million Birds / Independent
BOB SUMNER / Wasted love songs /Self-released *MG
STEVE GUNN / The Unseen in Between / Matador
ROBERT ELLIS / Texas Piano Man / New West *CVL, *DHo
JOSHUA RAY WALKER / Wish you were here / State Fair *MA
CAM PENNER / At War With Reason / Self-released *LM
CHARLEY CROCKETT / Lil G.L.'S Blue / Bonanza
JARED DECK / Bully Pulpit / Self-released *AN, *AL
MICHAEL CHAPMAN / True North / Paradise of Bachelors
INA FORSMAN / Been Meaning To Tell You / RUF *EZ
KAYLAN FAY / Good Company / Horton
RICHARD DOBSON / I Hear Singing / Brambus *JJC
ALBUMS OF THE MONTH (NOT IN TOP 25)
DILLON CARMICHAEL / Hell On An Angel / Riser House *PHe
SELECT CAPTAIN / Off To Save The World / Soundchest *JJ
BRANDON ISAAK / Rise N Shine / Independent *RW
EINAR FLA / Silent String / Grappa *MB
CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE / Sixpack / Self-released *PJ
JAMIE LEE WILSON / Jumping Over Rocks / Self-released *HdB
DALE WATSON / Call Me Lucky / Red House *RH
JEFF TWEEDY / Warm / DBPM *JS
WEST OF EDEN / Flat Earth Society / West Of Music *PH
JODYMOON / A Love Brand New / Self-Released *JF
ANDREW COMBS / Worried Man (Deluxe Edition) / Loose Music *GF
HALDEN WOFFORD & THE HI BEANS / Hard Core Broken Heart /
JONATHAN BYRD / Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys/ *JH
BILL SHANLEY / Midnight Mission / Cauldron Music *NC
MICKEY GALYEAN & CULLEN’s BRIDGE / Songs From The Blue Ridge /
JOE JACKSON / Fool / EarMusic *KG
WESTERN YOUTH / WESTERN YOUTH / Independent *BK
TIP JAR / Onward / Independent *FS
KC GROVES / Happy Little Trees / Self-released *JH
TIMBER / The Family / Cornelius Chapel *