Hiatt Declares 'The Tiki Bar Is Open'

John Hiatt will on Sept. 11 proclaim "The Tiki Bar is Open." His second album for Vanguard Records, the set is the follow-up to last year's Grammy-nominated "Crossing Muddy Waters," Hiatt's first acou

John Hiatt will on Sept. 11 proclaim "The Tiki Bar is Open." His second album for Vanguard Records, the set is the follow-up to last year's Grammy-nominated "Crossing Muddy Waters," Hiatt's first acoustic album.

"The Tiki Bar" finds Hiatt playing electric, acoustic, and 12-string guitars, plus piano, harmonica, mandolin, and harmonium. It is also the first album he has recorded with his longtime backing band the Goners -- drummer Kenneth Blevins, bassist Dave Ranson, guitarist Sonny Landreth (who also contributes backing vocals), and guitarist Jay Joyce -- since 1988's "Slow Turning."

"Tiki Bar" was produced by Jay Joyce (Patty Griffin, Tim Finn, Lisa Germano), and recorded in Nashville's Woodland and New Reflections studios. Also appearing on the 11-track album are pianist David Biano, as well as Julie Miller and the New Reflections Men's Choir, who contribute background vocals.

"Slow Turning" was the follow up to Hiatt's breakthrough album "Bring the Family." That set -- his first charting album (it peaked at No. 107 on The Billboard 200) -- found the artist backed by an all-star lineup comprised of Ry Cooder (electric guitar/vocals), Nick Lowe (bass/vocals), and Jim Keltner (drums). When he was unable to reassemble the trio for the follow-up, and sessions with X's John Doe, guitarist extraordinaire David Lindley, and Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks failed to produce the desired results, producer Glyn Johns suggested his touring band, the Goners.

Like its predecessor, "Slow Turning" garnered critical acclaim, and out-paced "Family" on the chart, peaking at No. 98 and remaining on The Billboard 200 for 31 weeks. The album also featured backing vocals by Dr. Hook (real name Dennis Locorriere) and Ashley Cleveland, organ work by the Amazing Rhythm Aces' James Hooker, and guitar, banjo, and mandolin contributions from the Eagles' Bernie Leadon. Hiatt later reconvened with Cooder, Lowe, and Keltner as Little Village in 1991.

Hiatt -- who has recorded more than 15 albums in his 25-year career, and counts among his accomplishments hosting the 1999 season of PBS' "Sessions at West 54th" -- will kick off a tour Aug. 4 in Portland, Ore. The run will keep him on the road in the U.S. through Oct. 14 in Marysville, Calif.

Here are Hiatt's confirmed tour dates:
Aug. 4: Portland, Ore. (Columbia Meadows)
Aug. 5: George, Wash. (the Gorge)
Aug. 9: Lemoore, Calif. (the Palace Indian Gaming)
Aug. 10: Reno, Nev. (Reno Hilton Amphitheatre)
Aug. 11: Mountain View, Calif. (Shoreline Amphitheatre)
Aug. 12: Concord, Calif. (Chronicle Pavilion @ Concord)
Aug. 14: Englewood, Colo. (Fiddler's Green)
Aug. 15: Kansas City, Mo. (Starlight Theatre)
Aug. 16: Hinckley, Minn. (Grand Casino Hinckley)
Aug. 17: Columbia, Mo. (Mizzou Outdoor Theatre)
Aug. 18: St. Louis (Fox Theatre)
Aug. 19: Noblesville, Ind. (Verizon Wireless Music Center)
Aug. 21: Rosemont, Ill. (Rosemont Theatre)
Aug. 22: Columbus, Ohio. (Polaris Amphitheater)
Aug. 23: Cincinnati (Riverbend Music Center)
Aug. 24-25: Atlanta (Chastain Park Amphitheatre)
Aug. 26: Memphis, Tenn. (Tom Lee Park)
Aug. 28: Pittsburgh (Iron City Light Amphitheatre)
Aug. 29: Wallingford, Conn. (ctnow.com Oakdale Theatre)
Aug. 30: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Casino)
Aug. 31: Manchester, N.H. (Singer Family Park)
Sept. 1: Manchester Center, Vt. (Riley Rink)
Sept. 2: Canandaigua, N.Y. (Finger Lakes P.A.C.)
Sept. 3: Toronto (Molson Amphitheatre)
Sept. 4: Vienna, Va. (Wolf Trap)
Sept. 7: Clarkston, Mich. (DTE Energy Music Theatre)
Sept. 8: Big Flats, N.Y. (Budweiser Summer Stage)
Sept. 9: Hershey, Pa. (Hersheypark Amphitheatre)
Sept. 14: Holmdel, N.J. (P.N.C. Bank Arts Center)
Sept. 15: Camden, N.J. (Tweeter Center at the Waterfront)
Sept. 16: Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
Sept. 28: Charlotte, N.C. (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
Sept. 29: Raleigh, N.C. (Alltel Pavilion @ Walnut Creek)
Sept. 30: Virginia Beach, Va. (Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheatre)
Oct. 6: The Woodlands, Texas (C.W. Mitchell Pavilion)
Oct. 7: Selma, Texas (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
Oct. 11: Sun City West, Ariz. (Sundome Center)
Oct. 12: Chula Vista, Calif. (Coors Amphitheatre)
Oct. 13: Universal City, Calif. (Universal Amphitheatre)
Oct. 14: Marysville, Calif. (Sacramento Valley Amphitheatre)