At the Hiatt of his career

Legendary performer will kick off free summer concert series Wednesday

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— John Hiatt's best-known songs are perhaps those covered by other musicians.

The singer/songwriter has 18 albums.

A range of musicians including Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Paula Abdul and Willie Nelson has covered his songs.

Hiatt wrote "Have A Little Faith," a song that has been covered six or seven times by everyone from Joe Cocker to Jewel. Bonnie Raitt covered a "Thing Called Love" and the movie was named after it.

"He has written somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 songs. Tons and tons have been recorded by other artists," said John Waldman of Great Knight Productions Inc.

On Wednesday, Hiatt and the Goners kick off Steamboat's free summer concert series at the Steamboat Ski Area's Headwall.

The Jackie Greene Trio, a blues act from California, will open at 5:30 p.m.

Hiatt is not a new face to Steamboat or the free concert series. Waldman, who helps pull the series together, said Hiatt played at Headwall three years ago.

"It was one of the strongest shows of that year's series. I expect it to be one of the highlights of this year's series," Waldman said.

Hiatt is on a five-month tour with the Goners and is hitting Steamboat as he comes across the mountain states. He is scheduled for five other shows in Colorado.

This spring, Hiatt had his 18th release, Beneath the Gruff Exterior. It is the first one ever credited to Hiatt and the Goners.

About two years ago, the group was reunited for Hiatt's last album, The Tiki Bar is Open.

It brought together guitarist Sonny Landreth, bassist Dave Ranson and drummer Kenneth Blevins.

Waldman said that Landreth is also a Steamboat veteran. In the early years of the free summer concert series, Landreth headlined a show.

"He is one of the best slide guitarist in the music business," Waldman said.

Up and coming Sacramento musician Jackie Green is opening the show. In the past year, Green has moved from open mike nights to coffeehouses to blues clubs to festival stages.

He played at Denver's Blues and Bones Festival last weekend and is scheduled to open for a few Susan Tedeschi shows this summer.

Last November, Greene released his second album Gone Wanderin'.

"It's bluesy, rock. He is starting to get a lot of national attention, very prolific songs, someone definitely to look for in the future," Waldman said.

Wednesday's concert is the first of six free concerts. This is the 11th year of the free summer concert series.

"I think the lineup really has some strong names. It is definitely the strongest lineup in our 11-year history," Waldman said.

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