Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20: rock guitarist, pianist and singer John Hiatt, is 61-years-old today.

John Hiatt was born August 20, 1952. He learned to play the guitar when he was eleven, and began his musical career in Indianapolis, Indiana as a teenager. He played in a variety of local clubs, and with a variety of bands, including The Four-Fifths and John Lynch & the Hangmen.

Hiatt moved to Nashville, Tennessee when he was eighteen years old and got a job as a songwriter for the Tree-Music Publishing Company for twenty-five dollars a week. Hiatt, who was unable to read or write scores, had to record all 250 songs he wrote for the company.

He also began playing with the band White Duck, as one of three singer-songwriters within the group. He wrote and performed two songs on their second album, In Season, including the hit "Train to Birmingham" in 1972.

Hiatt met Don Ellis of Epic Records in 1973, and received a record deal, releasing his first single, "We Make Spirit," later that year. That same year Hiatt wrote the song "Sure As I'm Sitting Here," which was recorded by Three Dog Night, and went to number 16 on the Billboard chart in 1974. In 1974 he also released Hangin' Around the Observatory, which was a critical success but a commercial failure.

A year later, Overcoats was released, and when it also failed to sell, Epic released Hiatt from his contract. For the next four years he was without a recording contract. During this time his style evolved from country-rock to New Wave influenced rock in the style of Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe and Graham Parker.

In 1994, Hiatt released Hiatt Comes Alive at Budokan?, his first official live album and his last album with A&M Records. Hiatt had previously released two promotional live promotional "official bootlegs," Riot with Hiatt in 1985, and Live at the Hiatt in 1993, as well as the EP Live at the Palace in 1991.

Hiatt received his first Grammy nomination in 1995 for his album Walk On. Hiatt's next few albums never gained any momentum on the charts.

In 2000, Hiatt released his first independent album on Vanguard Records, Crossing Muddy Waters, which saw a heavy influence of bluegrass in his music. Later that year, he was named songwriter/artist of the year at the Nashville Music Awards.

In 2001, Crossing Muddy Waters was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, with Davey Faragher and David Immergl├╝ck as his only accompanists.

John Hiatt with The Combo
On September 25, 2012, Hiatt released Mystic Pinball, his 21st studio album. Also on September 25, 2012, Joe Bonamassa Released in the U. S. Beacon Theatre: Live From New York, which included Hiatt playing, Down Around My Place and I Know A Place.
For more about John, visit his Website at –



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