It took him awhile, but during the late 1980s and early 1990s, John Hiatt's commercial appeal almost caught up to his critical reputation. The Indianapolis-born Hiatt began his career as a staff songwriter in Nashville, scoring a hit for Three Dog Night before he even reached his 20s. This eventually led Hiatt to secure a succession of record deals in the 1970s, which led to little more than a small cult following and more acclaim as a songwriter. Hiatt put bread on the table with cover versions of his songs, as well as by working as a guitarist in Ry Cooder's band. Hiatt's breakthrough came in the late 1980s with a record called Bring the Family, on which he was backed up by Nick Lowe, Ry Cooder and ace session drummer Jim Keltner. The record was a critical smash as well as a commercial hit. Since then Hiatt has become a major concert attraction. He remains revered by songwriters, and his material is covered often, most recently on the Eric Clapton/B.B. King collaboration on Hiatt's "Riding With the King."