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John Hiatt 

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Indy: Your current tour puts you in a bit different format. You play mostly acoustic guitar and have a more rootsy folk-rock sound. What was your goal?

JH: I wanted to be able to combine what I do when I go out solo, to be able combine that with a band, to do some of those songs like "Crossing Muddy Waters" and the more acoustic-y kinds of things, as well as the more up-tempo, rocking types of songs, like "Perfectly Good Guitar," or even playing electric here and there for some more rocking tunes. To be able to combine the two in one band is kind of what I was going for.

Indy: Your new CD, Same Old Man, has that same kind of musical feel. You produced it yourself a first for you so going in, did you have a clear idea of the kind of album you wanted to make?

JH: I wanted to just make it real simple: the song, the melody, the words and the rhythm of it. I didn't want a collaborator because for the first time, I didn't want somebody else's ideas. I just felt like I kind of had a basic idea. I just thought, "What the hell, I've got enough rope here, I think I'll just hang myself."

Indy: A lot of Same Old Man is inspired by your marriage of 22 years. Songwriters usually write about love gone wrong, but most of these songs are upbeat. Is it easy for you to write happy love songs?

JH: A lot of people, I guess, think it's corny. But it's only a cliche if you don't mean it. It is hard to write happy love songs, I guess, but man, when you feel that stuff, it's powerful.

At Denver's Ogden Theatre, Sept. 6.

  • "It's only a cliche if you don't mean it."

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