John Hiatt: Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns

The original King of Americana reclaims his crown.

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After 20 studio albums from this to his first back in 1974 – all of them of a certain wolfish quality – John Hiatt must surely be approaching national treasure status in the US.

Astonishingly then, not least as this is his seventh new album in the past 10 years, Hiatt continues to come up with gold in hands.

The quintessential purveyor of quality Americana, his songs mine a deep seam of influences, from razor-sharp R&B to blue-collar soul, a splash of Tex Mex, a hefty dollop of country and various shades of good ole boy rock’n’roll. If you dig Hiatt you’ll go pie-eyed over this.

Sandwiched between two top-drawer tracks in the growling, go-for-your-guns opener, Damn This Town, to the genuinely moving closer and paean to the mind-blowing aftermath of 911, When New York Had Her Heart Broke, you don’t need to have bourbon in your bloodstream to appreciate this stuff – but it sure won’t hurt ya none.

Mick Wall

Mick Wall is the UK's best-known rock writer, author and TV and radio programme maker, and is the author of numerous critically-acclaimed books, including definitive, bestselling titles on Led Zeppelin (When Giants Walked the Earth), Metallica (Enter Night), AC/DC (Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be), Black Sabbath (Symptom of the Universe), Lou Reed, The Doors (Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre), Guns N' Roses and Lemmy. He lives in England.