I first ran across John Hiatt in a large department store in Columbus, Ohio, a store that is no longer in existence. That store was Lazarus. But even more importantly, the album by John Hiatt was Slug Line, a 1979 album released on MCA Records. The songs on Slug Line were amazing and bore a close resemblance to early Elvis Costello. Don't believe me? Give "Take Off Your Uniform" a listen. Or even "Madonna Road." That should give you Costello pretty well. Like Lazarus (the store), Slug Line is pretty hard to come across. Not impossible, but you'll definitely need an Amazon account and not all at once, people, or you'll deplete the stock on hand.
Interestingly, Hiatt recorded for Epic Records before his move over to MCA. On his album Hangin' Around the Observatory (1974), which supplied "Sure As I'm Sittin' Here," an absorbed Top 40 hit for Three Dog Night, he couldn't have sounded more different. In fact, he's more recognizable as the John Hiatt you believe you know than Slug Line and its follow-up, Two Bit Monsters (1980), would have you believe.
After a bit of movement, Hiatt found a solid home base in A&M Records, where he recorded the classic Bring The Family (1987), which contains his best known song, "Have A Little Faith In Me."
Over the years, the artist John Hiatt has grown into the classic John Hiatt. He's come to be known as a unique vocal and songwriting talent with a fan base that anticipates his every album release. In 2003, John Hiatt signed with New West Records, releasing four studio albums including the wonderful Same Old Man (2008), and the equally wonderful The Open Road in 2010. His musical evolution has brought him to this point in time.
On August 2, New West continues their affiliation with John Hiatt by releasing his new set of songs, Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns. The 11-track album will be released on the standard CD format, with a CD/DVD Deluxe Edition planned as well as a vinyl LP.
John Hiatt's tunes have been covered by some of music's great talents. Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton/B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Rosanne Cash are but a few that have interpreted his songs.
I'm kind of anxious about the new album.