Thursday, February 06, 2020

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Remembering Dan Hicks

I'm honored that this shot I took of Dan Hicks at the
Santa Fe Brewing Company in 2009 graces Dan's Wikipedia page

Four years ago today, February 6, 2016, we lost a great one: Daniel Ivan Hicks, undisputed captain of the good ship Hot Licks.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Hicks was the drummer with one of the first generation San Francisco psychedelic bands, The Charlatans. During those days he formed an acoustic group featuring fiddle, standup bass and two female singers. This band was known as Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks. They released three albums, combining elements of jug band, country, hot jazz, western swing and more.

Hicks broke up the band in 1973 at the height of their popularity. And he essentially sat out the rest of the 70s and most of the 80s and 90s, releasing just a couple of albums during that time. But at the tirn of the century, he revived the Hot Licks and released several more records, including an excellent live record featuring most, if not all, of his bandmates from decades past.

Here are some of my favorite Hicks tunes:

Let's start with this early classic "The Buzzard Was Their Friend."

The Devil made Flip Wilson invite Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks to appear on his NBC variety show in 1972. They played "By Hook or By Crook" and "Shorty Falls in Love." Here are both of those songs.

Also on Flip Wilson's show Hicks & Licks performed "Milk Shakin' Mama"

This version of "Pay Day" is from 1989 in what seems to be a melding of Hick's classic Hot Licks lineup and his Acoustic Warriors, which was his band in the late 80s and 90s.

This song filled my head four years ago when when Dan really took that last train to Hicksville

Dan uses his psychic powers to play guitar in Santa Fe, 2009

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