Lilly Hiatt and the Dropped Ponies – Let Down (CD review)
The expectations are often set quite high for the progeny of well-known artists who decide to follow in their parents’ footsteps, often leading to mixed results. No doubt Nashville’s Lilly Hiatt felt this pressure being the daughter of well-known singer-songwriter John Hiatt, but her debut album Let Down rises to the challenge.
Like her father, Hiatt knows how to turn a phrase and compose songs that seem quite simple on the surface with their quickly familiar themes of life and love, but as they grow on the listener you find the depth in these American tales. Hiatt is backed by three fantastic players who have been dubbed The Dropped Ponies: Beth Finney on mournful lead guitar, Jake Bradley on bass, and drummer Jon Radford. Together they have created an album sound that flows from classic country to snappy Americana to grungy alt rock.
Standout tracks on this strong 10-song debut are the poignant “People Don’t Change,” with its easy country rock vibe; and the melancholy waltz “Oh Mister,” that has the feel of an old Appalachian hymn recast in a heavy blues setting with the lovely wide open tones from Finney’s slide guitar. Hiatt comes closest to her old man’s playbook on the guitar riff heavy rocker “Angry Momma.” The quartet ends the album with flurry on the revved up “Big Bad Wolf,” saving all the bravado for the big finish.
Originally Published at Innocent Words FEB 2013
Rick J Bowen