Tonight @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, Summerfest, 10 p.m.
Jul. 3, 2010
John Hiatt began his career as a songwriter in Nashville, where the music industry stressed the verities of storytelling and simplicity that would continue to inform his writing through nearly 20 albums. But country music was always too small a category for a writer whose songs have been covered by everyone from Iggy Pop to Emmylou Harris, B.B. King to Paula Abdul. Not unlike Ry Cooder, with whom he has often recorded, Hiatt distills the essence of many American genres into a rugged, road-tested sound recognizably his own with inspiration from blues, gospel via ’60s soul, rock and folk. Hiatt’s 2010 CD, The Open Road, reflects on the rambling life in weather-beaten songs by a musician who has never stood still for long.