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John Hiatt
-Bear's Den-Seneca-Niagara Casino-
- Niagara Falls, NY - 7-19-10-

Concert Review - By Bob Silvestri

     If there were any justice in the world John Hiatt would be a household name and not the no talents that dominate the charts and radio. After all he has written some of the most memorable songs and monster hits for artists Bonnie Raitt , Buddy Guy, Jeff Healy, Eric Clapton and B.B. King to name but a few. On the other hand if he was a megastar we would no longer be able to see him perform in intimate venues as he did at the Bear's Den at the Seneca-Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY on July 19th, 2010.
     The not quite full house was treated to an exhilarating ninety minute show from one of music's greatest songwriters. Besides being a great songwriter and musician Hiatt engages in some witty repartee with his audience. Commenting about the intimate venue he said he felt like he was giving everyone a lap dance and that we "could see his love handles, well actually my fat bags". On purchasing his latest CD commented about the lack of retail record stores selling it mentioned you can find it and buy it on line "or you can probably find it for free". That line was of course delivered with a raised eyebrow.
     But the music is what we came for and Hiatt and his band Doug Lancio on guitar, Patrick O'Hearn on bass and drummer Ken Blevins delivered in spades. Kicking off with a beautiful run thru of "Drive South" followed by "Perfectly Good Guitar" and "Crossing Muddy Waters" you knew this would be a memorable night. A couple of tracks, "My Baby" and the title cut from Hiatt's latest release The Open Road meshed seamlessly with the older material. "The Tiki Bar is Open" had all the band members taking turns soloing and was met with thunderous applause at the song's conclusion. Hiatt delivered an astonishing version of his modern blues classic "Feels Like Rain" that was worth the price of admission alone. Other highlights included "Thing Called Love", "Memphis in the Meantime" and "Tennessee Plates". Hiatt returned for an encore and again brought down the house with a tender "Have a Little Faith in Me" and a swampy "Ridin' with The King". For more upcoming shows at the Seneca-Niagara Casino go to www.senecaniagaracasino.com


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