Release Date: Jun 21, 2005
Record label: New West
Genre(s): Rock, Singer-Songwriter
John Hiatt has often wavered back and forth between his instincts as a rocker and a more measured singer/songwriter bent, and after the rowdy guitar-fueled blues-rock of 2003's Beneath This Gruff Exterior, it should come as no great surprise that Hiatt toned things down a bit for his next album, 2005's Master of Disaster. Produced by Jim Dickinson, with his sons Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson (from the North Mississippi Allstars) on guitar and drums, Master of Disaster is rooted in loosely tight Memphis groove, but while Hiatt sounds soulful as all get out (as per usual) on this set, the lingering mood is often downbeat and introspective. The title cut is a stinging meditation on the role of addiction in a musician's life, "Love's Not Where We Left It" and "Ain't Never Goin' Back" are as lean and unsentimental as songs about love can get, and even his ode to the wonders of the Ford Thunderbird finds room for some pithy recollections about one man's bitter relationship with his father.