Rootsy singer/songwriter Lilly Hiatt had a lot to live up to when she chose to make music her career -- her father is John Hiatt, one of America's leading songwriters since the '70s. However, Lilly has shown she has plenty of talent and ideas of her own. With a strong country/roots rock influence, Hiatt's music is also steeped in tough, guitar-based rock, and her lyrics are unflinchingly personal missives about complicated relationships and the rocky side of life's road. She found her voice on her first two solo albums, 2012's Let Down and 2015's Royal Blue, while 2017's Trinity Lane took a harder lyrical edge as sobriety and a bad romantic breakup informed her songs.
Lilly Hiatt was born April 26, 1984, in Los Angeles. She arrived at a chaotic time in her family's life -- only a few months after she was born, her father checked himself into rehab to deal with a long-standing addiction to alcohol, and not long after he emerged clean and sober, Lilly's mother (who was estranged from John) took her own life. The Hiatts moved to Nashville as John set out to put his life back together, and Lilly grew up as her father began enjoying a new level of success as a musician and songwriter, as well as a new stability in his personal life. She began making music of her own when she was 12 years old and John gave her a parlor guitar. Lilly attended high school in Nashville and later studied in Colorado at the University of Denver, where she decided she wanted to go professional as a musician after forming a band with fellow students called Shake Go Down. She made her recording debut in 2008, singing backing vocals on her father's album Same Old Man, and she began playing out with her own band.
In 2011, Lilly Hiatt & the Dropped Ponies struck a deal with Normaltown Records, a subsidiary of New West Records, and the following year they released their debut album, Let Down. After plenty of touring (including several dates opening for her father), Hiatt returned in 2015 with her second album, Royal Blue. After she beat a troublesome drinking problem of her own, her experiences formed the basis of her third album, 2017's Trinity Lane. Once again, she supported the release with several long rounds of touring, and life on the road and the introspection that came with returning home inspired her next album, 2020's Walking Proof, produced by Lincoln Parish (ex-Cage the Elephant).
© Mark Deming /TiVo