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It Will Come To You...
The Songs Of John Hiatt

Review By Steven Stone
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It Will Come To You The Songs of John Hiatt Anthology

CD Number: Vanguard Records 823-2

 

  Although John Hiatt may not be a superstar, he certainly commands a great deal of respect from his peers. Vanguard's anthology It'll Come To You... The Songs of John Hiatt demonstrates the breath of his influence and songwriting talent. Previously released versions of Hiatt's songs by Eric Clapton and B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Guy, Linda Rhonstadt, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Nick Lowe, and Freddie Fender join new recordings by Patty Griffin, Buddy and Julie Miller, and Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise.

The ferocious opening selection "Paper Thin" performed by Buddy and Julie Miller contrasts beautifully with Patty Griffin's ephemeral rendition of "Take It Down." Every cut included in this anthology showcases not only Hiatt's songs, but also their ability to inspire others to outstanding performances. Emmylou Harris' reading of "Icy Blue Heart" utilizes her voice and incredible phrasing to create magic. Freddy Fender's cover of "Across the Borderline" fits his style so perfectly you would swear it was written especially for him.

The actual song selections for It'll Come To You... The Songs of John Hiatt are from material spanning over twenty years. The daunting task of sonically matching recordings from such a wide range of sources fell to producer Steve Buckingham and mastering engineers Don Cobb and Eric Conn. They managed to accomplish the near impossible sonic feat of giving the CD a credible overall sonic feel. Sure, some selections, like Patty Griffin's "Take It Down" sound more natural and open than Nick Lowe's 1985 recording of "She Don't Love Nobody," but even the oldest recording, the 1982 Freddy Fender cut, has excellent clarity and natural warmth.

Even if you are a huge John Hiatt fan with a library bulging with every recording he has ever made, It'll Come To You... The Songs of John Hiatt has something new to offer you. For those unfamiliar with the breadth and scope of his work, this album makes the perfect introduction. 

 

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