Funk and chicken: A Tuesday night in Utecht with John Hiatt and 1,000 friends.
John Hiatt + The North Mississippi AllstarsCity: Utrecht, Holland
Venue: Musikcentrum Vredenburg
Utrecht, a large Dutch town, has a population of about a quarter million, including about 60,000 students. Approximately 25 miles south of Amsterdam, the city is a well known cultural center. Case in point: approximately 1,000 people turned out to see Americana artist John Hiatt and the North Mississippi Allstars on a Tuesday night. Hiatt has performed in Utrecht many times in the past 30 years -- this was just one of three Netherlands dates that he played on his recent European tour. Here, Hiatt performs at larger, classier venues and seems more appreciated than in the U.S. The Dutchmen in attendance (the crowd was overwhelmingly male) witnessed a rollicking night of Southern boogie. Hiatt and the band kept the music hoppin', literally: Hiatt would jump up and down excitedly while playing his guitar or listening to the others jam. Early in the evening Hiatt told the audience that he proposed to his girlfriend (by letter) from an Amsterdam hotel. She accepted, and since then he has been happily married. Hiatt and company then broke into the soulful love song, "Have a Little Faith in Me" from his Bring the Family CD. They followed with another old song, "Riding With the King", in which the band members improvised on a steamy instrumental riff. But for the most part, Hiatt and company performed material from their latest studio disc, Master of Disaster. This record is Hiatt's first with the North Mississippi Allstars, which consists of brothers Luther (guitar, mandolin) and Cody Dickinson (drums, samples) with bassist Chris Chew. They certainly added as much live as they do to the record. Luther frequently bopped his head up and down while strumming to his brother's fervid drumming as Chew, a big man, would raise his instrument's head high and bring it down to his waist while playing chords.
The North Mississippi Allstars