John Hiatt “Slow Turning”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#420 in the Series ) is John Hiatt, Slow Turning.

Three Dog Night- “Sure As I’m Sitting Here; Rosanne Cash –“This is the Way We Make a Broken Heart “and “Pink Bedroom,” Jeff Healey Band –“Angry Eyes,” Eric Clapton and BB King – “Ridin’ With the King – Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit and Desert Rose Band – ”She Don’t Love Nobody,” Bonnie Raitt –“Think Called Love.”

You may know many of these songs. They all did quite well and they were all written by John Hiatt.  For years he was known as the guy that put out hits for others but couldn’t quite make that success carry over to his own albums.  That began to change when he hit A+M Records and released Bring the Family.  He finally broke out with Slow Turning. People now knew his voice along with his spectacular songwriting.

If we had the answer on why some albums click and some do not, well let’s just say that the record labels would offer us a ton of money for the answer, but this one had it all put together.  The first thing that helped it was the great lead in by that previously mentioned Bring the Family album. That got airplay for such songs as “Memphis is the Meantime”, “the title track and also “Have a Little Faith In Me.” The second thing that made a difference was that he added The Goners as his backup band. Don’t get me wrong, Bring the Family had Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner and Nick Lowe (who would eventually form a band themselves as Little Village) but there’s something about having a band that’s used to playing together just walk in as a group.  Not to mention that that band contained one of the best slide guitarists on the planet, Sonny Landreth.

Slow Turning was all over FM rock radio. Here are some of the songs that were featured; the title cut of course, “Drive South,’” “Tennessee Plates,” “Sometime Other Than Now,”  and “Georgia Rae.”

Oh by the way, any album that mentions Charlie Watts is cool with me.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

  1. “Drive South” – 3:55
  2. “Trudy And Dave” – 4:25
  3. “Tennessee Plates” – 2:57
  4. “Icy Blue Heart” – 4:34
  5. “Sometime Other Than Now” – 4:25
  6. “Georgia Rae” – 4:26
  7. “Ride Along” – 3:31
  8. “Slow Turning” – 3:36
  9. “It’ll Come To You” – 3:29
  10. “Is Anybody There?” – 5:01
  11. “Paper Thin” – 3:35
  12. “Feels Like Rain” – 4:51


  • John Hiatt – Guitar, vocals, electric Piano
  • Kenneth Blevins – drums, Tambourine
  • Sonny Landreth – Electric guitar, Acoustic slide guitar, 12-string guitar, National Steel guitar
  • David “Now” Ranson – Bass guitar
  • James Hooker – Hammond organ
  • Bernie Leadon – Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Mandocello
  • Ashley Cleveland – Background vocals
  • Dennis Locorriere – Background vocals

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Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Doug Benson (07 Jul 2011, 11:23)

    Fabulous album. Although my favorite John Hiatt album is Walk On.

  2. RayC (20 Aug 2012, 18:11)

    You forgot to mention ‘Sometime other than now’, my favourite for sure.

    • Larry Carta (20 Aug 2012, 18:43)

      I like your style RayC. I added it! Thanks….

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