BY JOHN B. MOORE
It seems at some point in the past decade or so, labels started to move away from the “Greatest Hit” designation in favor of the more appropriate “Best of” label for the occasional single artist compilation release. The likely reason is because in the increasingly homogenized world of Top 40 Radio, there are fewer and fewer musicians nowadays that get to claim an actual hit (there are some obvious exceptions, of course) and even fewer that get to revisit the music charts album after album. And when you consider a brilliant three –decades- and-still-going songwriter like John Hiatt, a man who hasn’t had a certified mainstream radio hit since 1993’s “Perfectly Good Guitar,” Best of seems rather more appropriately than Greatest Hits.
Here to Stay, the 17-track set covers eight albums, taking two songs from each record, and tacks on a previously unreleased duet with Joe Bonamassa, ‘Here to Stay.” The selections here are solid, with little surprises, and goes to highlight just how consistent a writer and musician Hiatt has always been, so much so that it would be hard for anyone outside of a hardcore Hiatt loyalist to be able to quickly name which album each song first appeared on.
“We’re Alright Now” and “Blues Can’t Find Me Know,” both from 2012’s Mystic Pinball, do manage to stand out a little bit higher than the others in this collection, offering a hint that the best is still to come.
DOWNLOAD: “My Baby Blue,” “We’re Alright Now” and “Blues Can’t Find Me Now”