He's touring to promote his latest album Tangled Tales, (See My review of that HERE.) In fact he's taking that promotional aspect so seriously he's even written a song he performed last night about buying Tangled Tales for your baby. Like so much of Hicks' material, this shameless, ironic (or is it?) plug is both hilarious and lovely at the same time.
Hicks is playing with a new troupe of Hot Licks, except perhaps for bassist Paul Smith, I think it's an entirely different line-up than the band he brought to the Thirsty Ear Festival back in 2002. His latest Lickettes are Roberta Donnay and Daria, who are almost as impressive on percussion as they are on vocals.
Besides songs from Tangled Tales, such as "Blues My Naughty Baby Baby Gives to Me," "The Rounder," "The Diplomat" and the bosa-nova-like "Song For My Father," Hicks played a nice selection of his old favorites from the '60s and '70s.
These included "She Made Her Getaway" (a personal favorite that invoked personal flashbacks about a strange romantic situation in the mid '70s). "I Feel Like Singin'," "Milkshakin' Mama," "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away," "The Buzzard Was Their Friend," and, of course, "I Scare Myself," which was performed far more light-heartedly than other times I've seen Hicks do this signature tune.
I was a little disappointed not to hear "Payday Blues." And I'd love someday to hear him do a live version of "It's Not My Time to Go." Elvis Costello sited this as his favorite Hicks song, besides "I Scare Myself" -- and he's right. But it's never appeared on any of his live albums and I've never heard it at a concert. So come on, Dan, revive it.
In case you missed Hicks & Licks last night, here's a link (sorry, no embed) of an April show, courtesy NPR. Several of the songs are the same, and he even tells some of the same jokes.