Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
“So few truly original figures exist in pop music that Dan Hicks should be a national treasure.” – San Francisco Chronicle
Beginning as a drummer in the seminal 60’s San Francisco rock band The Charlatans, and continuing with the unique and legendary Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Dan Hicks is widely acknowledged as one of the central defining figures in American roots music. Hicks has earned a reputation as a true original with his signature eclecticism and humor. He continues to carve his own way through a number of genres from proto-psychedelia to western swing and jazz; from Tin Pan Alley to country blues, while always cultivating his own unique sound.
The original Hot Licks flourished throughout the 70’s and 80’s. They recorded five ground-breaking and Billboard-charting records for the Columbia, Blue Thumb and Warner Bros. labels and toured worldwide. Dan appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine three times.
The latest incarnation of Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks arrived with the turn of the century. Their wildly successful release Beatin’ the Heat (2000), features collaborations with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones and Brian Setzer. USA Today called it “one of the blessings of the new millennium.” A live CD soon followed Alive & Lickin’ (2001), and 2003 brought CD/DVD Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks Featuring an All Star Cast of Friends. That project reunited Hicks with virtually every musician he has ever played and recorded with, and was released on his current label Surfdog Records. Both Mojo and Downbeat Magazines rated it “Four Stars…one of the year’s best CDs.” 2005 brought studio release Selected Shortsfeaturing special guests Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Gibby Haynes, Jim Keltner and Van Dyke Parks. The New Yorker Magazine remarked “As great as his early masterpiece Where’s the Money? …truly superb.”
Grammy-winning producer Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama), arrived for DH & HL’s next two studio releases. The widely acclaimed Tangled Tales (2009) features all new Dan Hicks original songs and special guests David Grisman, Roy Rogers, and Charlie Musselwhite, among others. To quote Daily Variety, “Hicks is at the top of his game…unlike many pop artists today, a new studio album from Dan Hicks is like a new painting from Picasso.” In 2010, Hicks played Santa, delivering Crazy for Christmas, his first-ever album dedicated to the Holidaze.
In honor of the eternal hipster himself, dozens of stars appeared on stage on April 6, 2012 to celebrate Dan Hicks’ 70th birthday! A sold-out crowd at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall enjoyed an incredible evening featuring guest appearances by Rickie Lee Jones, Harry Shearer, Maria Muldaur, Van Dyke Parks, David Grisman, Tuck and Patti, John Hammond, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and many others! The best of the night – several of Dan’s biggest hits as well as some never before released live – are included on this 2013 album release, Live at Davies.