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John Hiatt 

John Hiatt has always had good taste in bands -- remember his years with the Goners, featuring Sonny Landreth? -- and a knack for getting the most out of his accompanists, but his work with Cody and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars is still a surprise. Cody (drums) and Luther (guitars) meet Hiatt far more than halfway on Master of Disaster (New West) under the direction of their daddy of the dials, Jim Dickerson. They sound like Memphis studio vets on these understated songs celebrating American tropes from the old coot Hiatt himself on the title track to the country's waterways ("Down the Cumberland," "When My Love Crosses Over,") to manufactured totems ("Thunderbird"). The simple melodies and light but sturdy grooves that drive these songs leave the listener with an overall feeling of nostalgia, but Hiatt's mood is as spirited as the old-timey ambience caught on the delightful "Wintertime Blues." The material should only open up in live performance. The Allstars also play an acoustic set. Tickets $32.

8 p.m. Monday, July 25

House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE;

click to enlarge C. TAYLOR CROTHERS
  • C. Taylor Crothers
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