Being a John Hiatt fan can often be a frustrating exercise. His album from last year, 'The Open Road' was a three-star record that promised more than it ultimately delivered. However, in what amounts to almost a rush-release, 'Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns' sees Hiatt back in full posession of mojo and with a bit of that ol' righteous indignation that once used to permeate the fabric of his records and had been absent for a while. The opening track, 'Damn This Town', sees Hiatt cast himslef as a fifty-eight year old still living at home with his mother, and boy is he unhappy about it. The fact that the lyric is lashed to one of Hiatt's grittiest tunes helps, and his vocal howl adds to the ire beautifully. He also shuffles his pack of styles and moods brilliantly, too, with songs such as 'Till I Get My Lovin' Back', a haunting country waltz ballad that again sees Hiatt in imperious lovelorn vocal form. Then you can go to the desperate 'Down Around My Place', a desolate piece that presses hard on the mordant pedal. 'Detroit Made' is a paean to a car (one of Hiatt's petrolhead anthems), and there's humour in here too, and a bit of wistful on the 'Adios to California'. 'When New York Had Her Heart Broke' is a song about the 9/11 events of ten years ago, a sensitive and stirring, but never mawkish closer that rounds out a simply superb album. Hats off to producer Kevin Shirley, who made his name producing the likes of Aerosmith. He enshrines Hiatt's best bunch of songs in a long while with a sympathetic sound palette that can be big and broad as well as soft and subtle. This album gets better and better with each listen, and I heartily recommend that you invest in this immediately. It gets five stars,'cause I can't give it six.