by Robert Bell
JOHN HIATT & THE COMBO
9 p.m. Juanita's. $40 adv., $45 day of.
John Hiatt's career has spanned so many decades and he's penned songs for so many big-name artists and he's recorded so many great albums that it's dang-near impossible to pigeonhole him.
But if you absolutely had to attempt to sum up his work in a pithy one-liner, you might be tempted to say something along the lines of, "He's the father of tasteful, soulful, country- and blues-tinged, folksy, singer/songwriter-y Americana/roots-rock." But no, that doesn't really do him justice. I'd say pick out one of his many career highlights and dig in.
Although 1987's "Bring the Family" is probably one of the most obvious, it's also one of the best — "Lipstick Sunset" is a heartbreaker with some incredibly evocative guitar playing from Ry Cooder. Another really good one is 2008's "Same Old Man," a bluesy effort that was recorded at Hiatt's home studio, with guitar and mandolin provided by Luther Dickinson, the redoubtable guit-slinger of The North Mississippi Allstars. Hiatt's most recent LP was last year's "Mystic Pinball," another very well-received collection of tunes. If you're on the fence about this show for any reason, give it a listen and it'll knock you over onto the right side.
Opening the show will be Native Run.