COMBINED REPORTS - Cactus Cafe, Austin TX, June 1999

Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 12:35:28 -0400
From: Candice A Rhyne 
Subject: Dan et al Play the Cactus!!

Greetings All:

Since my return to Austin last year I have been awaiting another DH performance...........and I finally got my wish!!  WOW, what a GREAT show.................!!  We arrived early after a great Thai meal.......I invited a friend, Kathy Lindley whos husband Donald recently passed from cancer....very sad....... Donald was an incredible drummer (played with Lucinda Williams on Car Wheels, also Joe Ely, Toni Price to name a few)... Kathy is a songwriter and had never seen Dan or heard his music until last week........she was dazzled by Ethyl N' Methyl (aka Maryann Price and Chris O'Connell) and is now a bonafide Hixer......! :-)

Anyway, the show surpassed all my expectations.  E&M did a great set....... including some fun comic banter... Maryann did "I'm An Old Cowhand" and they performed some old Asleep at the Wheel tunes.... "Miles and Miles of Texas" and "Choo Choo Chaboogie(sp)", which brought back memories of an AATW show at the original Antones in late 70s; also did "Z's" from her Etched in Swing album.... all in all, a fabulous set!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan and the Warriors (Paul Robinson and Brian Godchaux) played 2 fun-packed, brilliant sets (or, as Dan put it, 1 long set with a break in between) ....... Dan was really having fun, playing the audience like a fiddle as only he can.......... introduced the Warriors and then introduced himself as.. Monica Lewinsky.... "I just wanna get on with my life".....:-)

Tunes from first set (I may have missed one or two)...not necessarily in order:

Shootin Straight
Hell I'd Go...(with the new lyrics)
I've Got a Capo On My Brain
Strike It While It's Hot
I Scare Myself 
and with E&M:
Canned Music
How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away
Payday Blues
Milk Shakin Mama ("ladies and gentleman this refers to a profession not a body type") 

Second set: 

I Got Mine
Caravan/Four Brothers
Reelin Down
How Come My Cello Don't Play For You? (a new tune and GOOOD)
He Don't Care
Long Comma Viper (where he asked us to "sing along" 
and with Maryann:
Wheres the Money?
News From Up the Street
The Buzzard Was Their Friend

Hummin to Myself

Dan told us he'll be in Arkansas next week and expected all of us to be there........... all I can say is..."Hell I'd Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take care,


From: "Aaron Arnold" 
To: "Hicks List" <>
Subject: Another Cactus Cafe review
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 20:20:19 -0500

Well, Candice Rhyne , you hit all nails on the head, and almost word for word gave the review I intended to write.  (I had to work all day today, and barely got any sleep having been so wound up from the show, so am now just getting around to it)  Rather than bore you all with a complete reiteration, view this letter as an addendum to Candice's great review.

I especially loved Brian and Paul when they would seemingly improvise background accompaniment to Dan's verbal set up pieces, at the very beginning with "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and the end with a reprise of "Miles and Miles of Texas", which had been a highlight of Ethyl & Methyl's set.  Their solos on "I Scare Myself" were also to die for.  Dan's cheerful yet occassionally cynical stage presence was so at home at a setting like the Cactus Cafe on a weekend night.  I felt the audience had more of a personal relationship to him along the line of a student to teacher, than your average concert performer to audience member.  (I meant that as a compliment, please don't relate that to teachers you did not get along with, just to your favorites).  I also think he sounded better than ever.

Okay, yes, I am a good friend of Maryann's, but I swear, what I have to say about Ethyl and Methyl is sincere and objective.  They brought the house down.  Maryann playing her brushes on her drum named Peggy is really a treat if you have not seen it.  The drum is not merely a crutch, she is very a creative and inclined percussionist.  Ethyl's (Chris O Connell's) vocal harmonizing is as perfect a match as Naomi Eisenberg to Maryann's.  While I would still give anything to hear Maryann and Naomi sing together in person, this was truly as good as it comes without full authenticity to hearing those harmonies we all fell in love with of the "Lickettes".  Hearing of the loss of Mel Torme cast a shadow of sadness for me over the whole evening, which they helped me deal with by dedicating a song to him.  It was one that was filled with Mel like scats.  They also did occasional voice simulated instruments, sometimes played for laughs, but truly in the Mills Brothers and Lambert Hendricks Ross tradition (Or to post baby boomers - Bobby McFerrin) of speaking through the invisible instruments with more heart and soul than a real instrument can provide.  Maryann's vocal banjo on "Hey Good Lookin" was especially moving.

Candice listed the Dan set, here is the Ethyl and Methyl set:
"It Don't Mean A Thing If It Aint Got That Swing"
"Hey Good Lookin"
"Adobe Hacienda"
"Miles and Miles of Texas"
"Beautiful Texas"
"Don't Fence Me In"
"I'm an Old Cowhand"
"Columbus Stockade Blues"
"Choo Choo Ch Boogie"
and the encore - "Four Five Times"

I say if you are ever within a ten hour radius of Austin, it's worth the drive to come and hear Ethyl and Methyl.
Aaron "Smokey" Arnold
'It's not my time to go'