Categories: Arts Music Pop

Lilly Hiatt’s got another heartbreaking record

When Grammy-nominated folk rocker John Hiatt was discussing his upcoming album with The Examiner in January, there was one point he stressed before signing off: If you liked his work, check out the musical efforts of his Nashville-based daughter, Lilly Hiatt. “She just made a great record ‘Trinity Lane’ and she’s done this all on her own,” he said with parental pride. “All she does with me is ask me for advice or a shoulder to cry on when she’s having tough times on the road.” At 34, the daughter seems as sagacious as dad, but her sound is pure, hickory-smoked alt-country, her lyrical subjects awash in traditional tear-in-your beer-isms, made all the more convincing by her degree in psychology.

Your dad recently praised your defiant DIY attitude, and how you never once called in a familial favor.

Aw! That’s so sweet of him. But the respect is mutual, I can assure you. But I don’t really know how else to do this. And I’ve definitely taken opportunities given to me. I’m not one of those people who’s constantly strategizing ways to take the utmost advantage of things, though. I just put my head down and go. Because the bottom line is, somebody else can’t really make things happen for you. I know that all too well.

What have you learned from your father?

I’ve learned so much from him. But I think mainly I learned to just write. A lot. He used to have piles of yellow legal pads around, and I’d see them and think, “Wow, my dad sure writes a lot!” But he really dedicated the time to his craft. And again, you can’t really tell somebody how to write a great song. So I watched my dad. He worked hard and he wrote a lot, so now I write a lot, too. And you’re bound to get better at something if you just keep doing it.

But your songs are a bit darker. You even sing about the death of David Bowie and how it affected you.

Yeah, His death did hit hard. And it gave everyone a dose of their own mortality, like, “No! We’re all going to die — David Bowie died!” It was crazy. But I’d already been thinking a lot about death, and how we really don’t understand it, so it’s painful. And I was really heartbroken when I wrote “Trinity Lane,” which is really nothing new; my first two are heartbreak records, too. I’d been looking to others to validate me for a long time, and it was an exciting thing — just getting to a point of feeling cool on your own, like, “I’m complete! Exactly this way!”

IF YOU GO
Amanda Shires, Lilly Hiatt
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Aug. 18
Tickets: $20 to $25
Contact: (415) 885-0780, www.eventbrite.com

Tom Lanham
Share
Published by
Tom Lanham

Recent Posts

‘Blaze’ tells little-known story of country great

“Blaze,” directed by Ethan Hawke, is a free-flowing, honey-colored, emotionally satisfying ramble of a movie about Blaze Foley, the singer-songwriter…

54 mins ago

Sept. 20-22: BreakFEST, Presidio Stargazing, SF Art Commission Grants, Slim’s 30th Anniversary Revue, Oktoberfest by the Bay, Jackie Hoffman, Justin Willman, Fire Tapes, Hatchie

THURSDAY, SEPT. 20 BreakFEST: The inaugural San Francisco music festival, which offers 60 bands in 14 shows at seven venues…

54 mins ago

‘House with a Clock’ a magical family-friendly adventure

Based on a 1973 novel by John Bellairs, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is one of those…

54 mins ago

SF Prep Football Preview: Lincoln travels to El Camino, Sacred Heart Cathedral tangles with Valley Christian

Lincoln (3-0) @ El Camino (1-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. Already boasting solid wins over Capuchino and Piedmont, the Mustangs have…

1 hour ago

Stephen Piscotty drives in five as Oakland Athletics snap three-game skid

By John Hickey Special to S.F. Examiner OAKLAND – Think of Wednesday's 10-0 Oakland Athletics win over the Angels as…

2 hours ago

Rapper, ‘Frisco Five’ protester Equipto arrested in Mission District confrontation with police

Protesters gathered at Mission Police Station Wednesday evening following the arrest of Bay Area hip-hop artist and activist Equipto during…

4 hours ago