…one of rock’s most astute singer-songwriters of the
last 40 years
~ Los Angeles Times ~


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various artists - The Country Bears (2002)
[Walt Disney Records 60774-7]


The Country Bears - Soundtrack
(Walt Disney Records, total time 41:25)


Track 1-4,6,7,9,10 written by John Hiatt

  1. Let It Ride - John Hiatt
  2. Where Nobody Knows My Name - John Hiatt
  3. Can Love Stand The Rest - Don Henley + Bonnie Raitt
  4. The Kid In You - Krystal Marie Harris
  5. I'm Only In It For The Honey - Brian Setzer '68 Comeback
  6. Kick It Into Gear - Jennifer Paige
  7. Straight To The Heart Of Love (live) - John Hiatt
  8. Bear Mountain Hop - Bela Fleck
  9. Just The Goin' - John Hiatt
  10. Where Nobody Knows My Name (reprise) - E.G. Daily
  11. So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star - The Byrds
  12. Friends - Elton John
  13. Bearly Home (Score) - Chris Young
  14. Nylon Hym (Score) - Chris Young

In 2002, Hiatt was tapped to write and sing original songs for Disney's The Country Bears, a cornball live-action kiddie film about a lovable group of country-singing bears who plan a reunion show. Hiatt also sings four of his seven compositions which appear on the movie's soundtrack CD.

The soundtrack is a moderately enjoyable collection of family-friendly tunes. Hiatt's contributions are done in his usual genre-blending style. They may be a bit less serious than the songs he records for his proper albums, but they do not fall below his usual standards. Hiatt's compositions also come in the forms of a gentle duet between Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley (neither of whom are strangers to singing Hiatt's songs); a modern r&b number from Krystal Harris; and a semi-slick country-pop tune from Jennifer Paige.

Besides Hiatt's songs, the CD also includes a rousing rockabilly rave-up from Brian Setzer, with character actor Stephen Root providing guest vocals; a timeless Byrds classic; Elton John's aged ballad "Friends" (which was originally the title song for a really bad movie from 1971); a banjo solo from Bela Fleck; and a pair of laid-back instrumentals from veteran film score composer Christopher Young.

review by Rarebird's Rock and Roll Rarity Reviews