Telluride Jazz Celebration Welcomes Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks

[click “Play” for Susan’s interview with Dan Hicks]

Panama_dan_sm Telluride Jazz Celebration impresario Paul Machado likes to push the jazz envelope, often inviting guests whose music, is not, strictly speaking “jazz.” That is unless you define jazz as a labyrinth of styles, sounds and rhythms summed up in a one syllable word.

Check the schedule on the first full day of sounds, Friday, August 6. Machado features Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks in the 4 p.m. slot. The hodgepodge of genres Hicks melds into his own signature sound includes outlaw swing, folk, country, Django, blues, rock, and okay, jazz, a brew he himself has been known to describe as “folk jazz.” Ok, the hipster is in by a nose.

Hicks is revered by the legendary artists he has collaborated with over the years: Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett, among them. His counter-culture appeal, which has twice landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone, has always been rooted in his songwriting. Hicks’ lyrics have been touted as some of the sharpest-tongued, driest-witted, and subtly hilarious bits of irreverence ever committed to rhyme. He sets these lyrical gems to quirky tunes that trade on a bagful of jazz chords and an irresistible rhythm.

“Dan Hicks is an American Treasure.’I Scare Myself’ and ‘It’s Not My Time to Go’…
I think they‟re two of the best songs ever written,” Costello

“Dan Hicks is lightning in a bottle,” Midler

 “Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry!” Waits

Dan Hicks was born December 9, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of a career military man. He grew up 50 miles north of San Francisco in the small city of Santa Rosa. His first instrument was drums. By 14, he was playing gigs with area dance bands. In 1959, Hicks picked up the guitar and became part of the San Francisco folk scene.

A band known as the Charlatans became the bridge to Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks (the name he gave his bodacious back-up singers). After a meteoric rise starting in 1969, including several commercially successful albums, “Where’s the Money,” “Striking It Rich,” and “Last Train to Hicksville,” the Hot Licks closed – temporarily as it turns out – for business in 1973.

In 1998, Hicks signed with Surfdogs Records and it has been smoother sailing ever since. Hicks’ latest release, “Tangled Tales,” is garnering raves. The album is a return to his roots, an innovative mix of old-timey authenticity and modern swagger that has made Dan a favorite of fans for over 40 years.

Oh, and Hicks is also a fine artist. He designs all his cover art and packaging.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Hicks tell it like it is – and was.

Comments are closed.