Release Date: May 27, 2008
Record label: New West
Genre(s): Rock, Singer-Songwriter
John Hiatt's Same Old Man opens with the song "Old Days," in which he tells tales of life on the road sharing stages with several aging legends of the blues, and given the grainy drawl of his vocal on the track, one can be forgiven for thinking Hiatt has begun to turn into one of the grizzled old men he's singing about. But most of the tunes on Hiatt's 18th studio album find him in considerably stronger and more nimble voice, even though the blessings and trials of maturity are a recurring theme in these 11 songs. Hiatt produced and recorded Same Old Man at his home studio, with Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars sitting in on guitar and mandolin while Patrick O'Hearn and Kenneth Blevins handled bass and drums, and while these sessions are dominated by a laid-back vibe informed by country blues, Hiatt sounds sharp and engaged on each track.
A journeyman soul crooner trapped in a singer/songwriter’s body, John Hiatt is an exceptional tunesmith with a knack for delivering poignant lyrical turns set to memorable melodies, but his studio choices have often failed him. Taking over production for Same Old Man has certainly solved some of his problems, allowing him to return to a rustic, stripped-?down vibe. He certainly makes the most of the string-?bending abilites of Luther Dickinson on guitar, mandolin and National resonator guitar in a way which favourably recalls Hiatt’s sentimental fan fave Bring The Family.