John Hiatt Live with the Jerry Douglas Band

This past Monday night my wife and I saw John Hiatt live at the Rams Head On Stage venue in Annapolis MD. It was my first concert in probably 2 years. Words cannot begin to describe the absolute joy I felt sitting in the Rams Head experiencing one of my favorite artists live again. I felt like a parched man wandering through the desert who had finally found an oasis to quench his thirst. A battery that was about tapped out that suddenly was recovering its charge. I felt I was connected to that mystical musical source that sustains my soul and provides its purest power in the form of live music. It was such an incredible feeling.

Hiatt was on tour to promote his new album, Leftover Feelings, a collaboration with dobro master Jerry Douglas, whose band was backing Hiatt on this tour. Consisting of Mike Seal on electric guitar, Daniel Kimbro on stand up bass, Christian Sedelmyer on fiddle, and Douglas on dobro and lap steel guitar, the band really brought out the country and Americana aspects that are an inherent part of much of Hiatt’s music (and yes even a bit of bluegrass). Hiatt played a number of tunes off the new album, while sprinkling in songs from over his entire career. It was a real kick to hear some of his classics brought to live in this new way by the band. Here’s a video I shot of Slow Turning, off the album of the same name from 1988 – note the audience reaction when it gets to the lyrical reference to Charlie Watts.

John Hiatt – Slow Turning, Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis MD, 11-15-21

Hiatt was in fine form, and it seemed to me that he was really enjoying having a band backing him to bring added life to his songs. I have seen him a number of times over the last 5-6 years, and with the exception of the 30 year anniversary concert tour for Slow Turning (where he was backed up by the Goners), its always been him solo acoustic. He was ducking and weaving and stomping around on stage like he was 30 years younger.

Highlights of the concert for me were Feels Like Rain , another tune off of Slow Turning, Have a Little Faith in Me from Bring the Family (my wife and I’s wedding song, done solo as the first encore), as well as Your Dad Did (also from Bring the Family). In all the years I’ve been seeing Hiatt live (going back to the late 80s, I’ve never heard it live. Your Dad Did tells the humorous story of a new Dad with his young family, realizing with some degree of surprise and horror that he’s not that different from his own Dad, I think something that a lot of us realize as we get older. It was a real treat to hear if finally live after all these years.

After a 18 song, close to 90 minute set, Hiatt closed the show with Riding with the King, a classic older song from 1983 Here’s the video I shot of that one – they really burned it up and you can see what I mean about Hiatt having a ball.

I’m still riding the high of the concert the next day, and am so grateful that Maryland has such a high vaccination rate that I felt comfortable attending this show and that Hiatt felt comfortable enough to tour. Hopefully this is a sign that we are inching closer to something approaching normalcy, at least in regards to live music. If you get the chance, I highly recommend checking him out live!

Setlist

  • That Thing You Need (Solo)
  • All the Lilacs in Ohio
  • Perfectly Good Guitar
  • Slow Turning
  • Crossing Muddy Waters
  • Long Black Electric Cadillac
  • The Music is Hot
  • I’m in Asheville
  • Your Dad Did
  • Feels Like Rain (with Jerry Douglas)
  • LIft Up Every Stone (with Jerry Douglas)
  • Little Goodnight
  • Master of Disaster
  • Mississippi Phone Booth
  • Drive South
  • Thing Called Love

Encore

  • Have a Little Faith in Me (solo)
  • RIding With the King

34 thoughts on “John Hiatt Live with the Jerry Douglas Band”

  1. I will keep an eye out if he comes back around these parts… I’ve seen him a few times and he’s always been outstanding. Glad you enjoyed the show! Looks like a great setlist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As with Hans…I’ll keep an eye out also. I’ve always wanted to see him. The Watts reaction was cool. Paul, When you see him…does he change his setlist up much? I’ve come to love “Window on the World.”
    Great stuff…love the live recordings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Max! I have gathered from posts and comment threads that you live in the TN area? Is that correct? I think Hiatt lives there now. I think they’re playing Ryman Auditorium sometime on this tour

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I do…middle TN around 40 minutes from Nashville. I’ll will keep an eye on it. The Ryman is great Paul if you have never been there. I’ve seen Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Costello there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. One really quick story…I’ve been to Graceland twice…Jen and I went in the 90s…you can’t touch anything and you have to stay with the group. On the way back home we got lost…ended up in McNairy County…we drove by Sheriff Buford Pusser’s house…its a museum…went in and had a great time. Hell you could sit on his sofa at that time…saw one of his “sticks” from the movie Walking Tall.
        Anway…Graceland is cool to see…but very restrictive which I get.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thats hilarious Re the Walking Tall house! Yeah and of course you’ve heard the story of how Bruce in the 70s after a concert took a taxi to Graceland a mind jumped the fence and went up to the front door to try to meet him. And to bring this all full circle there is the Hiatt song TN Plates. Ok gonna go – trying to finish my final song draft post 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. YES about the Bruce visit. In fact I got the silent treatment from the tour guides because I asked about that very thing… and I asked a Beatle question centered around Elvis…after those two questions I got a big “Any more questions about ELVIS?” lol

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Re setlist I was checking out setlist.fm and on this tour I think he is sticking to pretty much the same set but of course as your continues perhaps he’ll add some additional songs. When I’ve seen him where it’s just him he’s more liable to change things up. One of the most fun times I’ve seen him was about 5 years ago where he ended up basically playing requests all night. Someone yelled one and he said alright let’s try it and then someone else and it just went from there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh geez…that would have been awesome! I have never seen an artist do that. McCartney did take one request but that was it.

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      2. Yeah it’s cool when that happens. I think I read Elvis Costello did a tour once where he had a spinning wheels with all these songs on it and would spin it to see what to play next. Like exactly requests but still cool. And then there’s Springsteen the last few tours taking song request signs from the audience

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes I do…it was his acoustic tour and it was 1996. I then saw him and the E Street Band in 2000…a couple of weeks before Bailey was born. I had a beeper on during the concert just in case lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ghost of Tom Joad tour – yeah good tour but a bit different from his typical show as you know. That tour was my wife’s intro to Bruce – she wasn’t that impressed! Didn’t really start getting it til I took her to an E St band show. Funny about the beeper!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I seem to always like a song that isn’t loved by everyone lol. I like a lot of his music though. That one just stuck with me…I love the references in it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah he definitely is a great songwriter. Hey I was wrong. – he’s not playing Ryman – that’s just Jerry Douglas in Jan. But it looks like Hiatt is playing solo at some place called Exit In in Nashville in early December

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I didn’t know the Exit Inn was still open! Back in the 70s I heard that Bruce went there after a large gig and played for the hell of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. So cool! That sounds like something he would do. It sounds slot like the 930 club up here in DC area. A legendary club that everyone’s played at at some point. Hell the Foo Fighters just played it a few weeks ago. One of those “let’s announce the show at 10 one morning and tix are gone instantly.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That show looked great all around, Paul, and I’m happy for you and your wife you were there. I think experiencing music live is the absolute thrill, so I can very well relate how you must have felt after two years!

    Hiatt sounded fantastic, and so did the band. And what a nice intimate venue – I was never as close to a famous artist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christian! Yeah it’s a great small venue and if you jump on tickets when they are announced you can get pretty close. One time we were right at stage edge. It’s a real thrill to be able to get so close to an artist you really admire to hear their show

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your spot looked great. I guess you could look Hiatt straight into his eyes and watch his fingers working the fretboard of his guitar! 🙂

        The closest I have ever gotten to a well-known artist, Walter Trout, was at the Iridium in New York City a few years ago. It was still much further away from the stage than you guys were.

        I guess you could call me a bit weird when it comes buying concert tickets. While I love going to live shows, usually, I’m satisfied with taking one of the cheaper tickets. Obviously, this means I’m not close to the stage.

        Instead of spending a lot money for one particular show, I rather buy cheaper tickets and go to more concerts! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Christian. Yeah I can appreciate that philosophy. But for certain artists I’m going to try to get close as I can. My ultimate example was the time I had third row seats for Springsteen during the Tunnel of Love tour. You could see the sweat dripping off his fingers during a guitar solo (sounds kind of gross now but it was awesome at the time 😀) or the looks he was exchanging with Patti Scialfa ( this was before they were together) – you could tell something was going on.

        Liked by 1 person

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