Christopher Miles Hiatt is an unsigned blues musician from Livingston, Montana, currently performing in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area with the Chris Hiatt Experience. For almost 10 years, Chris Hiatt made his home in Phoenix, Arizona, performing out upwards of four times a week.
Chris Hiatt & The Cold Shot'sEdit
One of Chris Hiatt's trademarks is his popular "tribute shows" to the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan. The origin of the idea came about one night at a party when someone threw a black hat on Hiatt's head and people commented that he looked like Stevie Ray Vaughan. While the crowd laugh, Chris Hiatt thought that he should try a tribute show to one of his favorite guitarists.
After a couple of test shows for nearly rabid Stevie Ray fans, Chris Hiatt took the tribute act on the road. These shows became extremely well-received due to Hiatt's distinct likeness of SRV, as well as his ability to nearly match the legendary guitarist note-for-note, and the popularity of these tribute shows became widespread enough to land a Scandinavian tour, after which Chris Hiatt became a regular and usually performs there once or twice a year.
Eight years, five countries,and countless tours, the act is stronger than ever. Hiatt keeps the spirit of SRV alive all over the United States and Europe, including his 13th sold-out tour of Scandinavia in March-April 2009. Chris Hiatt has said that he intends to continue his tribute until, according to the guitarist, "it stops being fun."
The Chris Hiatt ExperienceEdit
Additionally, Chris Hiatt has become a prolific musician, writing many original songs and releasing a library of albums. His first official album (Dreaming of Miranda) was released in Montana. In Summer 1999, Chris Hiatt released Catharsis (the recording of which was definitely NOT cathartic). Afterwards, he released The Ballad of Texas Floyd in 2002 and a self-titled double album (originally entitled "Is Not, Is Too") in 2005.
Amazingly, Chris Hiatt has had minimal turnover in his band. His first solid line-up in Phoenix included the late Johnny Flores (RIP) on drums and Lance Elliot on bass. In late-1998, Lance left to join Saxon and Johnny Flores was replaced shortly thereafter by Chris "Crash" Klettke, who is still his drummer today. They rotated Germs and Rich Alfano on bass for the duration of their time in Arizona before moving to Florida in late-2005. Since moving to Florida, the Chris Hiatt Experience (as the band was renamed) has only released one album: "Live at Bootsie's Hideaway" in 2007. The CD was released to coincide with his 13th tour of Scandinavia and the band's first visit to Canada.
Obviously, Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of Chris Hiatt's main musical influences, but there is a noticeable range of other influences in Chris Hiatt's songs: from Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, to Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Johnny Marr (of the Smiths), and Peter Buck (R.E.M.), as well as scores of other guitarists whose records lurk in Hiatt's collection. Chris Hiatt's own style was probably best described once by a Portland, Oregon critic as a 'Blues-based-British-influenced-Pop' sound.
In addition to The Chris Hiatt Experience and his SRV tributes, Chris Hiatt performs with Bill Rivers in the Fabulous Slidells, a fictitious folk band of rivaling brothers Merle (Hiatt) and Willis (Rivers) Slidell.
Chris Hiatt had a regular Sunday slot at the Blue Note on McDowell at Hayden Road for a number of years. It was here that Chris Hiatt caught the attention of Ed The K Motley, and Kay became an instant fan. Before The Caterwauls or Jeordie, Kay went to many of Chris Hiatt's shows, especially when he performed at a venue to which Kay had never been. It is Chris Hiatt who was mostly responsible for Kay's deep appreciation of live music.