CD Beneath This Gruff Exterior (CD 889544),
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Beneath This Gruff Exterior

  • 1. Uncommon Connection
    2. How Bad's the Coffee
    3. Nagging Dark, The
    4. My Baby Blue
    5. My Dog and Me
    6. Almost Fed Up With the Blues
    7. Circle Back
    8. Window on the World
    9. Missing Pieces
    10. Fly Back Home
    11. Last Time, The
    12. Most Unoriginal Sin, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 6045

  • Credits
    ProducerJon Hiatt; The Goners; Don Smith; John Hiatt; John Hiatt & The Goners
    EngineerDon Smith

    Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Sonny Landreth (electric & slide guitars, dobro, background vocals); Dave Ranson (bass); Kenneth Blevins (drums, background vocals).
    Additional personnel: Bobby Keys (baritone saxophone).
    Recorded at Blackbird Studios, Berry Hill, Tennessee.
    Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Sonny Landreth (electric guitar, slide guitar, dobro, background vocals); Bobby Keys (baritone saxophone); Kenneth Blevins (drums, background vocals).
    Audio Mixer: Don Smith .
    Recording information: Blackbird Studios, Berry Hill, TN.
    Photographer: Michael Wilson .
    "Some people call it depression and I call it a song." That simple observation from "Uncommon Connection," the rollickingly catchy opening track of songwriter/singer John Hiatt's 2003 release BENEATH THIS GRUFF EXTERIOR, sums it up quite sweetly. Hiatt's been channeling glorious depression through the muse since the early '70s. This release marks his first release with the Goners, a four-man outfit specializing in bar-soaked Southern blues-rockin' highlighted by the virtuoso slide guitar work of occasional Hiatt collaborator Sonny Landreth.
    From the aforementioned opening track, GRUFF EXTERIOR is nothing if not exhilarating fun, a collection of songs seemingly shorter than the four minutes they generally run, as rife with hooks as with wry reflection. There's an endearing ease in mournfully sweet songs of unadorned rambler philosophy like "Window On The World" and "Missing Pieces" with its Dylanesque harmonica opening and lightly Zen opening lines "I spent all day staring at a leaf/I know that my time here is brief." By the final track, the country jilted-lover waltz "The Most Unoriginal Sin," it is clear Hiatt's found a nice groove in which to settle his deft, expertly crafted songwriting.

  • Critic Reviews
    Dirty Linen (8/03, p.66) - "...Hiatt still writes great songs and does a wonderful job of conveying what life is like on a journey that so many of us are also on..."
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