From: "Donald Hanko"
Date sent: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 13:36:27 -0500
Subject: Show Review
Dan Hicks Show Review
The Stone House - February 14, 2006
By Donald Hanko
The Sunday blizzard of '06 brought devastating news, other than having
to shovel 12 inches of snow (which is a lot for the beautiful Jersey
Shore to get); both of Dan's shows for the day at The Turning Point in
Piermont NY had been canceled. The folks at The Turning Point were
wonderful; two phones calls to let me know that Dan had the day off and
a full refund would be forthcoming. Sprinting to the computer to get my
Hix Fix, I got my Hix Tix for the Valentine's Day Extravaganza
"Hicksville for Lovers" at the Stone House Music Club in Tenafly NJ.
Rushing from work in the city (the Westside Highway to the GW Bridge at
6:30 pm is something to be avoided at all costs) arriving in Tenafly
with minutes to spare, searching for The Stone House, the gin joint du
Jour, I got hopelessly lost. Come to find out the show was at the local
Jewish Community Center - go figure.
The immaculate room was of the gymnasium type, set up with long tables,
seating for about 250 guests with a very nice size stage. Dan was
standing at the stage door scoping out the crowd, I then knew I was at
the right place.
The 8:00 pm show started promptly at 8:20 with an audience of about 175.
Dave on the guitar, Richard on the fiddle and mandolin, Bob on bass and
2 new lovely Lickettes, introduced as GiGi and Fife. All decked in red
for the holiday, Dan started the show with explaining his style of music
"What I do is called Caucasian Hip-Hop." - it was obvious that there
were only a handful of fans in the audience. He himself even asked, "Is
there anyone out there who knows who I am?" - only a few arms rose. I
have seen Dan live numerous times since 1971 but never so on as he was
tonight. His off-the-cuff patter throughout the whole show was truly
The gang started off with Canned Music, other than a poor house sound
system, they hit the mark, as always. Next came a tune that Dan boasted
he wrote with Louis Armstrong in 1904 There are Blues, jazzy and hot
with that Hix twist. You Gotta Believe came next. Since it was
Valentines Day, Dan stated he wanted to keep with the theme, so he
introduced his next Love Song - 'Long Came a Viper. Milk Shakin' Mama
followed and the boys and girls really shook it up. His next Love
selection, Dan proudly acknowledged he co-wrote with Brittney Spears "I
was 27, she was 4"- I Scare Myself.
Intermission came, with an hour into the show with only six songs under
our belts; Dan's repartee between songs was outstandingly amazing - I
haven't laughed that much in years. I don't know if it was the lay
crowd or Dan was well rested from the Snow Day but I wish that it was
recorded. Twenty-five "Selected Shorts" CD's were raffled off and Round
Two was ready to begin.
By Hook or by Crook opened the second set- first time I've heard them
do it live. His collaboration with Fats Waller at the turn of the
century's Honeysuckle Rose came next, with fancy footwork provided by
Dan and the girls. The Lickettes were featured in the next tune right
off the "White Album" - I'm An Old Cowhand that rivaled the original
from "Striking It Rich" - Great job ladies. A nice surprise followed, a
cover of an old Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys melody What's The
Matter With The Mill - WOW - please record this one Dan. Caravan/4
Brothers brought down the house - Dave and Richard sure did it and did
it right. Back to the Love Songs: That Ain't Right - "Sorry for the
edgy lyrics folks." A beautiful rendition of My Funny Valentine with
Dan, ala Ink Spots, interjected stories of his loves: "My girlfriend is
so fat, that when she sits around the house - she sits AROUND the house
- I take my wife to work, 'cause I don't want to kiss her goodbye" to
mention a few quips. The Buzzard Was Their Friend was up - Very Hot.
Bottom's Up followed next. The show closed with I Feel Like Singin',
and an encore of Evenin' Breeze, my personal favorite.
I stuck around for a while as the house crew was breaking down and saw
Dan and Dave on stage discussing the percussion instruments. I asked if
he would sign some stuff for my Hicksabilia collection and he graciously
did. Ultimately I enjoyed wonderful conversation with him.
Thanks Dan, for an evenin' to remember..
P.S. The Turning Point is trying to get him back when he "swings"
through this side of the continent in May.