John Hiatt

"The Open Road"

(Shock); Singer/songwriter

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Having traversed blues, country and even New Wave, John Hiatt's career has always been a fascinating one.

As a singer/songwriter, he's one of today's finest, having been covered by artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Jewel and Iggy Pop, and he has the ability to craft tunes and lyrics that are easy to grasp on to and which resonate with the human experience.

His new album, The Open Road, shows that after 35 years he's still not short on creativity as he reels off a new selection of highly memorable songs.

Returning to the elasticated groove of Bring The Family, which featured a killer rhythm section of Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner, this time he's got his hard working road band providing the crisp, distinctive musical backdrop.

Tracks like Haulin' cleverly cross the line between gritty blues and radio friendly melody, much like his earlier Thing Called Love, while Like A Freight Train is a high lonesome affair that invokes endless plains and vast distances filled with a mix of loneliness and the optimism of a free spirit.

With his gravelly, charismatic voice, ever dependable songwriting ethic and a band that punctuates the tunes with energetic performances, this album is fresh, fun and classy without being too slick.

Great stuff. Enjoy it.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.