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liner notes

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John Hiatt - Slow Turning (1988)
[A&M Records 395 206-2]

duration: 48:45
  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
Producer: Glyn Johns

Musicians: The Goners
John Hiatt (Guitar, Piano, Vocals)
Ken Blevins (drums, Tambourine)
Sonny Landreth (Electric guitar, Acoustic slide guitar)
David "Now" Ranson (Bass)

James Hooker (Hammond organ)
Bernie Leadon (Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Mandicello)
Ashley Cleveland (Background vocals)
Dennis Locorriere (Background vocals)

All songs written by John Hiatt except "Tennessee Plates" (John Hiatt & Mike Porter)

"Drive South" is generally regarded as the second installment in a trilogy (along with BRING THE FAMILY and STOLEN MOMENTS) of singer-songwriter John Hiatt's late '80s resurgence. While this period was certainly fertile and arguably his artistic peak, calling it a comeback is something of a misnomer. Hiatt, you see, never went away. For more years than he'd probably care to remember, Hiatt's records gained the esteem of critics and musicians while the record buying public remained largely unaware.
However, with Bonnie Raitt's wildly successful version of his "Thing Called Love," Hiatt began to see some of the recognition that his better-known peers enjoyed.

One listen to "Slow Turning" and it's easy to see why. His country-tinged songwriting skill is honed to a fine point, allowing a broader melodic side to ride shotgun with a more openly emotional center. From outlaw narratives ("Trudy and Dave," "Tennessee Plates") to joyous stompers ("Slow Turning") and kiss-offs ("Paper Thin"), he goes from strength to strength before finishing off with one his finest ballads ("Feels Like Rain").

"After the success of Bring the Family, John Hiatt originally intended to reunite that album's all-star backing band (Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe, and Jim Keltner) for a follow-up. Hiatt's "dream band" proved to be unavailable, and he ended up cutting Slow Turning with his road band, the Goners, but the finished product proves he remembered well the lessons learned from Bring the Family. Slow Turning is a lighter and wittier affair than Bring the Family; the outlaw rocker "Tennessee Plates" and its more subdued companion piece, "Trudy and Dave," are more rambunctious than anything on the previous album, and the tempos are sharper this time out, with a bit less blues and a touch more twang in the melodies.

But Slow Turning is also an album of hard-won lessons about life and love, placing a subtle but pronounced emphasis on the nuts and bolts of family life with the mingled joys and annoyances of parenthood dominating both "Georgia Rae" and the title cut, and the newfound maturity that made Bring the Family so special is still very much in evidence. And while the Goners aren't quite up to the standards of the quartet that recorded Bring the Family (and who, pray tell, is?), they're still a stronger and more empathetic band than Hiatt usually had in the studio, with Sonny Landreth's guitar work a standout. Following the best album of your career is no easy task for most performers, but with Slow Turning John Hiatt made it clear that the excellence of Bring the Family was no fluke." (Mark Deming, AMG)

Recorded May 20, 1988–June 6, 1988 at Ronnie Milsap's Groundstar Labs, Nashville, Tennessee
Engineered by Larry Hirsch