Nashville tunesmith John Hiatt is a Midwesterner at heart 

Hoosier daddy? John Hiatt is!

Folks might have forgotten that the now-legendary Nashville tunesmith was actually born and bred in the homey hamlet of Indianapolis, where nothing but that yearly auto race ever really happens (trust us — we know).

But the Midwest left a mark, and grounded the man’s writing in unpretentious humility — a trait he carried with him from his folksy ’71 debut “Hangin’ Around The Observatory” through dabblings in Costello-edgy punk (“Slug Line” in ’79, and ’82’s brilliant “All Of A Sudden”), to his country-tinged breakthrough in ’87, “Bring The Family.”

On Aug. 2, Hiatt (who just passed through on a tour with Lyle Lovett) returns with, believe it or not, his 20th album, “Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns” for New West.

It follows last year’s “The Open Road,” and will also be available in a deluxe version, featuring a behind-the-scenes DVD called “The Making Of Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns” plus a 24/96 high resolution mix of the entire album.

Curious what it sounds like? You can check out a teaser track — “Damn This Town” — at Hiatt’s Facebook page.

Like David Letterman, he’s another Indy boy made good. He’s been interpreted by so many stars (Dylan, Clapton, B.B. King, even Iggy Pop) that Rhino was able to issue a full-length anthology of covers: “Love Gets Strange: The Songs Of John Hiatt.” And he was also recently inducted in the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Stay tuned here for more on him, or go to www.johnhiatt.com.

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Tom Lanham

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