Like Loretta Lynn and Neil Young, Lilly Hiatt sings from the heart. Her lyrics and style are reminiscent of the greats I grew up listening to in The Seventies. Yet she also has that rocking edge that rolls along in rhythmic chords much like the bands I loved in The Nineties. Lilly is someone special, someone whose spirit soars high when she picks up her guitar and sings. Truly an original.
From the first time I heard her, I was enthralled with her music. The more I heard the more I wanted to hear. As time went by I would find myself singing her songs as I went through my day. So, after work one afternoon I messaged her and asked if she would do an interview. I put my phone down and collapsed onto the couch. I started to drink some coffee and watch TV. A short time passed and my phone buzzed. It was Lilly. She agreed to do the interview.
This Is Lilly Hiatt
How old were you when you started singing and playing guitar?
I have sang for as long as I can remember! And 12 for the guitar.
With your father also being a singer/songwriter, music had to be a large part of your childhood. When writing songs today do you reflect back on the songwriters and storytellers you first heard in your youth?
I certainly do. I remember Prince being a soundtrack early on. Purple Rain. That stuck with me, as did Neil Young's Harvest Moon. Liz Phair's Whipsmart, that's what my mom jammed when she was letting loose. They all crept in and influenced me amongst the many things I discovered on my own, I think also just seeing the shows with all kinds of musicians. Ya know my dad toured with Hootie and the Blowfish, he toured with BB King, Jackson Brown...they all became a part of my musical journey. My brother was obsessed with Slayer and hip hop, my sister loved Weezer and the Spice Girls. Everyone was bringing something to the table.
You have a wide range and very unique style of music you write. Who have been your biggest influences over the years?
Why thank you. Well, I could write a book on it, but I won't. At least not now. It's hard to reduce it to just a few folks, but big writer influences I'd say would be Liz Phair, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, Prince, Conor Oberst, Lucinda Williams and my dad of course. But, different eras have occurred and I am an avid fan of a lot of music.
You’ve covered “Guy Clark” with Aaron Lee Tasjan and “The Beatles” with Margo Price. If it were possible and you could cover any song with the original artist singing along with you, what would it be?
See, I am already stressed I left John Lennon out of that last question haha! Well, I want to sing "Daughter" with Eddie Vedder. I plan on it. I also badly want Cardi B to sample a song of mine, and I would happily sing that with her.
On your third and latest album “Trinity Lane” you worked with Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst from the band “Shovels and Rope.” How did that come about?
I knew them both, and liked them very much as people. When Michael was suggested to me as a possible producer, I was intrigued and began a musical conversation with him. We vibed quickly and I knew he would push boundaries with me without pushing my buttons. I like working with people that are willing to go to the edge and beyond, and he is! Yet with such a chill and respectful attitude. Great listener. We had a blast if ya can't tell!
What have you been working on lately and what would you like for the reader to check out?
I am writing up a storm planning to make another record. Excited to be in a creative haze at the moment. Next up tour wise is a fun run with Margo Price that goes through New Year's Eve. Should be a fun way to ring in 2019!