The Austin Chronicle

Record Review

By Jim Caligiuri, February 22, 2008, Music

Walter Hyatt

Some Unfinished Business, Volume One (King Tears Music)

When Walter Hyatt died in the ValuJet plane crash in 1996, a major influence on the Austin music scene of the 1970s and 1980s was silenced. Now, nearly 12 years later, that voice returns, and it sounds as sweet as ever. As the title, Some Unfinished Business, implies, these are songs that Hyatt was working on for his third album when he was killed, 12 tracks out of the almost 40 that he left partially complete. His wife and album producer, Heidi Hyatt, gathered friends from Nashville and Austin – Jerry Douglas, Warren Hood, David Ball, Carrie Rodriguez, among others – to add their parts to what he had recorded, and the results are what Uncle Walt's fans would expect – wildly eclectic and supremely melodic. Two songs will be familiar, soul twist "Motor City Madman" and the bluegrass shuffle "Deeper Than Love," the former an Uncle Walt's Band tune, the latter recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker. Influences as diverse as Elvis Presley and Tony Bennett are evidenced with the smooth rocking "Foolin' Round" and the pensive "I'll Come Knocking." Some Unfinished Business will be welcomed with wild applause from the faithful who believe that Hyatt left us much too soon.


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