Since John Hiatt and the major labels decided to go their separate ways around the turn of the century, his approach to record making has been direct and organic; most of his albums have sounded as if Hiatt and his sidemen put them together without a lot of fuss, placing the emphasis squarely on Hiatt's dependably strong material and tough, flinty vocal style. But 2011's Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns is a more polished and ambitious affair than Hiatt has delivered in years. The sessions were produced by Kevin Shirley, who has previously worked with Aerosmith, the Black Crowes, Dream Theater, and Journey, and though his approach isn't especially intrusive, the sound of this record is certainly more luxurious, with the guitars sounding bigger, the drums booming a bit louder, and strings and keyboards decorating several tracks and the arrangements, gaining a greater sense of drama along the way.
In 1961, Ruggiero Ricci was already a world famous violin soloist. He asked the brilliant up and coming Martha Argerich, who was only 19, to join him on a tour to Russia. Part of their recital in Leningrad was broadcast and preserved by the Leningrad Radio. This part is presented here, completely remastered, for the first time ever. The program includes Prokofiev sonata for solo violin that Ricci gave the World Premiere of in 1959, 6 years after Prokofiev's death.