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Dan Hicks Options
Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 6:54:11 PM
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We're going to see the one & only Mr. Hicks at the Tivoli Friday night. He's not bringing the Hot Licks out with him this time, but with the backing of Gerry Hale's Innocent Bystanders, who have collaberated with Paul Kelly in the past, it should be a night of mighty fine music. He's also playing there Saturday night, but we're heading for the blues fest at the Jube - so much music, so little time! My sign off is feeling appropriate....

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Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 10:47:00 PM
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By theloneranger at 2009-10-13

Hi Sharleen,probably good that I took an extended break from the board,as the Aussie Tour was all over before I heard about it.

How was it ?.

"An artist never really chooses when and where they will play.It is for promoters to make offers.It comes down as to whether tours are financially viable." Quote John Mayall.
Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2009 4:54:05 PM
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Location: The Hacienda
It was a great night, Patrick! He played at the Tivoli theatre which is my favourite venue, an old bread warehouse that was fixed up years ago in an art deco style and has hosted many fine nights of music ever since. Dan did not tour with his band, The Hot Licks - he was enticed to come to Australia by Gerry Hale. Kudos to Mr. Hale! Being a long time fan of the Hicks, he started putting together a tribute album of Dan Hicks songs and found that more and more of his musical buddies wanted to jump on the bandwagon as it rolled along. What resulted was Gerry Hale & The Innocent Bystanders' Vivando, an excellent disc of music if you like Dan Hicks. After the album was finished, Gerry contacted Dan and got him to agree to come to Australia to play a few dates with them.

The concert at the Tivoli was one of those "pin drop" nights when the audience was there for the music and every beautiful note and lyric were cherished. The band was excellent and provided a perfect foil for Dan's songs. Dan is a funny guy with a dry sense of humour and had quite a few little nuggets of wisdom to grace us with in between songs. He sang "The Piano Has Been Drinking" when I requested it. He spent quite a bit of time after the show signing autographs and chatting with the punters. We hung out til the end and had a nice talk with Gerry, who is a very affable and likeable fellow himself. There was another couple who were also waiting until the end to get Dan to sign their myriad of CD's, posters, etc. They wanted to get a picture with him and the little woman and I think he was getting a bit tired of it all by then. He readily posed for their picture, but didn't smile. The man started hassling him to smile for the camera and I could see it just wasn't gonna happen! At that point, I would have been dissapointed had he actually smiled, but no one could have coaxed even a tiny little grin out of him - he was hanging on to that solemn demeanor for all he was worth. I thought this was pretty amusing.

Here's an excerpt from a review of the night by the Australian:

The ensemble - Hale on mandolin and guitar, guitarist Shane Ryall, violinist Nigel MacLean, Kimberly Wheeler on double bass and percussionist Amelia Banton - added dazzle and dexterity to Hicks's laconic, witty style. Technically he's no great singer or guitarist. And when audible, his acoustic guitar - mostly thumb-plucked with a pick - sounded like it was being stroked with a chisel. That aside, hot licks, sharp songs and Hicks's instinctive feel for a variety of American roots styles made this an enthralling 90 minutes.

"This may be your first experience of actually seeing an American," the San Francisco-based Hicks said at one point. Throughout the set he lived up to his guarantee that he had "an arsenal of stupid things to say".

He started the set with the bluesy strut of You Gotta Believe and followed it with one of his best known songs, Canned Music. The song, set to a soft Latin-country groove, dates back to Hicks's days in Haight-Ashbury in the 60s and is one of the few from that era that bemoans losing your girlfriend to a drummer.

Another oldie, Along Came a Viper ("Bo Diddley meets Pete Seeger") was equally vibrant, while Tom Waits's The Piano Has Been Drinking sat perfectly in Hicks's oeuvre.

Common practice on most songs was to let Hale, McLean and Ryall take solos between verses. While this seemed a little overdone by the end of the show, all three rose to the occasions with flowing, sometimes intense and frequently blinding displays of technical wizardry that also betrayed a deep understanding and passion for the songs they were playing.

Banton, who sang harmonies with Wheeler, shone in her percussionist role. Rare it is to see someone playing sandpaper blocks for a living, and to great effect.

Hicks faked a guitar solo (played by Ryall) on his most famous song, I Scare Myself, slightly undermining the piece's sinister Latin tone, but that is what Hicks is all about.

If you'd like to see pictures, you can find them through this link:


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