Album: John Hiatt, Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns (New West)


Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns is full of typical John Hiatt tropes: old-timers and hard times, devotion and desperation, in roughly equal measure.

"Damn This Town" opens proceedings with his customary wry acerbity, the narrator's detailed disaffection with his hometown ultimately torpedoed by the punchline that, aged 58, he's still living at home "like a kid", and unlikely ever to escape. Elsewhere, a yearning for fast-disappearing old ways comes through in the corroded rustic reverie "Down Around My Place", the homesick country-blues jog of "Train To Birmingham", and most effectively of all in "Hold On For Your Love", an evocative lament for the corporate rape of country life that sounds like an outtake from Dylan's Time Out Of Mind: "Burn down the cabin and put out the stars/Tear up the fields and leave everything scarred/I've been here before, but I don't know this place". 

Download this: Hold On For Your Love; Damn This Town; Down Around My Place