- Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, acoustic guitar, National resaphonic guitar, harmonium); David Immergluck (acoustic, electric, 12-string & slide guitar, mandolin, background vocals); Davey Faragher (bass, percussion, background vocals).
- Recorded from April 23-26, 2000.
- CROSSING MUDDY WATERS was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
- Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, acoustic 6-string guitar, harmonium); David Immerglck (acoustic 12-string guitar, electric slide guitar, mandolin, electric mandolin); Davey Faragher (tambourine).
- Audio Mixer: Justin Niebank.
- Recording information: Hounds Ear (04/23/2000-04/26/2000).
- Photographer: Michael Wilson .
- Hearing this stripped-down effort from songwriter extraordinaire John Hiatt, it's hard to imagine why he bothered with all the production on his previous recordings. The format is a simple one--Hiatt accompanied by a bassist and mandolinist/guitarist--and it serves the songs well. Not only do Hiatt's smart, but unpretentious lyrics get maximum exposure, but he leans in toward the concept as well, accentuating the country blues element of his sound so as to benefit further from the earthy setting.
- There's so much of what sounds like post-divorce material here that one can't help but think of BLOOD ON THE TRACKS-era Dylan. In fact, if circa-2000 Dylan released an album with these songs, it would be hailed as a masterpiece a la TIME OUT OF MIND. Unlike the latter, though, CROSSING MUDDY WATERS doesn't just leave the listener in an emotional wilderness. This album is ultimately the sound of Hiatt trying to discover a new life amid the wreckage and a way to move on. It's this glimmer of hope that makes MUDDY WATERS a vital, well-balanced album.
Entertainment Weekly (12/29/00, p.146) - Ranked #2 in EW's Top 3 Country Albums of 2000 - "...He creates a deeply affecting meditation on earthly suffering and spiritual redemption."
Q (11/00, p.107) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...These songs snap at the outer edges of country, blues and folk, their emotional turmoil leavened by moments of bone dry humor..."
CMJ (9/4/00, p.31) - "...One of his best albums..."
Down Beat (3/01, p.73) - 4 out of 5 - "...Jugband ebullience, folk-like reflection, Cajunesque vocal whoops, gospel-informed soul and a honky-tonking slide-and-thump..."
Mojo (Publisher) (11/00, p.101) - "...Guaranteed entertainment....as brash as Soho on a hot day, confident and able to blues-howl in best rootsy tradition..."