John Hiatt at the Vogue Theatre

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      You could argue that John Hiatt has never quite gotten his due. One of the original heartland rockers, the veteran singer-songwriter had a blip of mainstream success in the late ’80s that was never to be repeated. Nonetheless, Hiatt has kept slugging away, putting out a new album every year or two and generally being a songwriter’s songwriter. And by that, we mean that people who have proven themselves capable of writing a ditty or two on their own—folks like Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Roseanne Cash, and Joan Baez—have all recorded their own versions of Hiatt songs. The royalty cheques probably take a lot of the sting out of the fact that as a performer, Hiatt—who plays the Vogue Theatre on Thursday (July 11)—has attracted a cult following rather than a mass one. Maybe he ought to pitch some songs to Justin Bieber. Hiatt’s wallet would get considerably fatter, and Biebz would gain some much-needed credibility. Win-win!