Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008
From: Steve Ramirez
Subject: [hix] Dan in Phoenix, 4/29/08
After a 15 year hiatus from the Valley of the Sun, Dan returned to Phoenix, this time with the Hot Licks (Lickettes: Daria, Roberta and "LickMen": Dave, Richard and Paul). I was very pleased and surprised to hear that they were going to be playing at the Rhythm Room, which seems to be the sort of venue the Dan eschewed, a sort of a hole-in-the-wall night club/bar which can be occasionally rowdy. Indeed, there was so much chatter during the opening act (3-legged dog) that they were barely audible. By contrast, Dan and company ascended to the stage to applause followed by reverent silence, and launched into the intro song (topsy/swing 42) promptly at 9:00pm. what followed was a 2+ show full of playful banter, virtuoso musicianship, and a few jabs at the sparsely-appointed venue. the set was, as usual, a mixture of old classics, and a preview of some new songs from an upcoming album, indeed, Dan was reading the lyrics from a looseleaf binder for couple of his newer songs.
I didn't write a set list, but here are songs I can remember:
Intro (Topsy/Swing 42)
the Diplomacy song (he said just wrote it that morning, and he was afraid the lyrics were too deep, so he took it Phoenix, because he figured we were intellectual enough to "get it")
Blues My Naughty Baby Gave to Me
Song for My Father
Ragtime Cowboy Joe (another new one, mentioned "Arizona" several times)
I Scare Myself (replete with faux guitar solo)
I Feel Like Singing
I'm an Old Cowhand (lovely harmonies)
(I cant remember the name, said if was written by Elizabeth Cotten)
That Ain't Right
The Buzzard Was Their Friend (VERRRRY Long introduction, explaining in detail the mechanics of the song)
Along Come a Viper
Pay Day Blues
My Blue Heaven (with dance routine)
outro (Limehouse Blues)
There was a LOT of the trademark stage patter and exchanges with fans shouting out requests, Dan even mentioned a bodily function (#1) to describe how excited he was to be playing in Phoenix, to raucous laughter, he then scolded one half of the crowd for being "too uptight" and praised the other half for being "loose". Just a couple of his many deadpan-delivered nuggets on the night.
After the show, I had a pleasant but all-too-brief chat with Dan and the girls at the signing table (once I was able to scrape my jaw off the floor, as I have said, the pictures don't do these ladies justice). I was even invited to come crash the "private function" tonight in Snottsdale. Not likely, but I did appreciate the offer :)
I was fortunate enough to meet and hang out with Hixtress Jos and her daughter Rita (who got along famously with my daughter, who met us there) I was also supposed to meet up with Hixtress A.K. from Maui, in town to visit family members, but unfortunately a late complication prevented her from coming to the show. Our loss.
A fabulous evening of mirth, merriment and music. Let's do it again soon, Dan!