Master of Disaster

Master of Disaster

5.0 1
by John Hiatt
     
 

While he's often praised for the sophistication of his musical endeavors, John Hiatt is just as capable of raising the roof with some good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, and that's exactly what he does on this rough-and-ready collection. Backed by North Mississippi All-Stars Luther and Cody Dickinson -- and produced by theirSee more details below

Overview

While he's often praised for the sophistication of his musical endeavors, John Hiatt is just as capable of raising the roof with some good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, and that's exactly what he does on this rough-and-ready collection. Backed by North Mississippi All-Stars Luther and Cody Dickinson -- and produced by their legendarily undomesticated dad, Jim Dickinson -- Master of Disaster mixes the raw funkiness of classic Memphis music and the heartland sincerity of Hiatt's Midwest roots. The elements meld with sweaty glee on songs like the Chuck Berry–styled "When My Love Crosses Over" and the soulful "Find You At Last," one of several tunes that are laced with a Stax-ish horn section. Even when he's digging in the Delta dirt, Hiatt manages to emerge with brilliant lyrical gems -- as he does by injecting a dialogue between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene into "Love's Not where We Thought We Left It," which gains added fire from the Dickinsons' dueling guitars. Master of Disaster isn't without its quieter moments, of course, and Hiatt's flair for telling poignant, personal tales shines through on those -- particularly the addiction-themed "Back on the Corner" and "Wintertime Blues," on which he delves deep into his musical past to channel folk-blues legends like Fred McDowell. A masterful offering.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
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. Still, Hiatt does find some room for comic relief in his meditation on cold weather, "Wintertime Blues," he has fun with his crotchety old man tale "Old School," and the raspy grain that has worked its way into his voice suits both the singer and his songs just fine, giving the performances a welcome warmth and humanity. Master of Disaster packs too much good and greasy East Memphis vibe to qualify as "mellow," even when Hiatt is searching the depths of his soul, and his material strikes a comfortable balance between his more confessional work and his impulsive rock & roll, allowing him to have it both ways for a change.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/21/2005
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396607624
catalogNumber:
6076
Rank:
57825

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Hiatt   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Tommy Burroughs   Violin
David Hood   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jim Spake   Saxophone
Scott Thompson   Trumpet
East Memphis Slim   Keyboards
Scott Thompson   Trumpet
Luther Dickinson   Guitar
Cody Dickinson   Drums
Jeff Calloway   Trombone
Joe Sallmanberger   Tuba

Technical Credits

John Hiatt   Composer
James Luther Dickinson   Producer,Audio Production
Robert Hall   Drum Technician
John Hampton   Engineer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Nineyear Wooldridge   Logistics
Robert Hadley   Mastering
Erik VonWeber   Cover Photo

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