From: Jim & Vicky Howell
Date sent: June 14 2006
Subject: Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico CA, June 11 2006
Dear fellow Hixters--
--We saw Dan and the band at the gorgeous Sierra Nevada Brewery
Big Room (a gorgeous venue--we have been there many times and NEVER seen a
bad show) last night. It was a triumphant return to Chico, with Dan and
crew playing to a rabid crowd, who were prepared to break loose and enjoy
--The tone of the evening was established IMMEDIATELY when Dan referred
the first of many times to "NOT walking down goddammed Memory Lane." We
have to hand it to Dan, The Man refuses to be anything but himself.
--Dan refuses to become merely an "oldies" act. He is not Bobby Vinton,
Bobby Vee, or Paul Revere, or anybody like that, merely replaying his
"hits." Of course the dangerous thing for any act, including the Rolling
Stones, Bob Dylan, and, just about anyone else, is that the public doesn't
necessarily WANT you to play anything new. They want the familiar, the
FEELGOOD tunes that they recognize.
--Dan will not be pigeonholed. If you look at Dan's catalogue, he is
playing Bob Wills and Django Reinhardt, even Sammy Cahn!, keeping that
stuff ALIVE! He is a synthesizer, taking the best of the past, making it
real and wonderful and in THIS moment, not of the past.
--Dan is making great CURRENT music on his own AND with Elvis Costello,
Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Brian Setzer, Gibby Haynes, and even Jimmy
Buffett. If these guys are willing to hang out with Dan--who's going to
argue with the hipness credentials there?
--Dan's newer tunes (released in 2000 or later)--like My Cello, Strike
It While It's Hot, That Ain't Right, Mama's Boy Blues, etc., stand with
his very best work.
--It was very cool to be at a show with people WHO HAD NEVER EVEN HEARD
OF DAN BEFORE and walked away believers! Whoa!
--The band, of course was exceptional--all the soloists and singers are
constantly improving. The enthusiasm on Richard's and Dave's faces was
very cool--the spirit of Django lives! There was a real element of fun
about it all--it was nutty, borderline chaotic, and loads of laughs (as
always). Working from Richard's set list, which we scored, the standout
tunes were, Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy, Hell I'd Go, I'm an Old Cowhand
(how long have they been doing this one?--is Maryann Price's presence
felt?), Honeysuckle Rose, Song for my Father (well, Father's Day IS
coming)-Hey we all had our favorites! Milk Shakin' Mama was the encore.
--We hope that Dan comes back to Chico and that he contines to stick it
to Memory Lane.
--Thank you for letting us "preach to the choir."
--Sorry, no photos. We took a camera with a dead battery. Just take our
word for it, the band was dressed to wow. Later.
--Dan is THE MAN.
--Jim and Vicky Howell, Chico, California