Fixture of the San Francisco music scene Dan Hicks plays Nelson's The Royal with the Hot Licks.

Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks come to Nelson

San Francisco musician Dan Hicks will be taking the stage at Nelson's The Royal on Thursday with the Hot Licks.

“Dan Hicks is an American original…” — NPR’s All About Jazz

An early pioneer of the San Francisco psychedelic scene, singer-songwriter Dan Hicks blends elements of swing, jazz, folk and country music to give him the moniker of the reigning “King of Folk-Swing.”

Having recently celebrated his 70th birthday with a big, sold-out bash at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, Hicks is plunging full steam ahead championing an amalgam of styles pioneered by Jimmie Rodgers, Django Reinhardt, and Bob Wills.

Hicks’ birthday celebration stands out as one of his favourite memories throughout his career.

“A good memory of my career is the recent grand concert in San Francisco for my birthday with 20 famous guest performers and an audience of 3,000,” he said. “Another good memory is all the great shows I’ve had and feeling like a million bucks after they were done. If you want to borrow money ask me after one of these gigs!”

It’s all rolled into an entertaining string band format, complete with plenty of dry wit, and traveling a musical trail that has won a loyal following of “Hixsters” from around the world. As one of Dan’s songs puts it, “You got to believe!” Crazy for Christmas and Tangled Tales are his most recent recordings.

Growing up in Santa Rosa, California, Dan Hicks’ first instrument was drums. By his early teens, he was playing in jazz groups and looking to get into the radio announcer business. He took up guitar in 1959, just in time for the folk music boom of the early ‘60s, eventually joining a folk/rock band called the Charlatans.

The Charlatans, after a long residency at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada, became an early participant in the San Francisco Sound of the mid-’60s. But Hicks had other ideas. He opted out of the electric rock sound to pursue a decidedly retro, acoustic approach. Incorporating acoustic guitars, violin, acoustic bass, and two female backup singers, Hicks pulled in the jazz influences of Le Jazz Hot’s Django Reinhardt, the twangy western swing of Bob Wills, and the sophisticated harmonies of Swing Era vocal groups.

The Hot Licks split up at a career highpoint in 1973, leaving behind several recorded classics, including Where’s The Money? and Strikin’ It Rich. Hicks pursued a solo career for the rest of the ‘70s. He resurfaced in the ‘80s with the Acoustic Warriors, a quartet based on his earlier style, but minus the backup vocalists. The popularity of the Acoustic Warriors eventually inspired Dan to form a revamped version of The Hot Licks in 2000, complete with a new set of Lickettes. Since then, the millennium version of Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks has been going strong with new songs (as well as the longtime favourites), new recordings, and international tours, playing to an ever-growing cadre of fans.

Hicks has seen a lot since he began playing music in the late ‘50s.

The music industry has changed and evolved in ways he never anticipated.

“What surprises me the most is that all these things happened,” he said about iPods, iTunes and the new music industry. “Things disappeared that I liked — album art work, CDs, cassettes, liner notes. It’s the devil’s work I tell you!”

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks play The Royal on Thursday, June 14.

 

Just Posted

Maglio Building Centre sold to RONA

The stores in Nelson and Trail will remain open

Nelson singing teacher leads Bigby Place in song

“It was a lovely afternoon with them,” says Kathleen Neudorf

NELSON BUSINESS BUZZ: Baby, you’ve come a long way

Judy Banfield has sold Mountain Baby, and other business news from Bob Hall

The Hillties throwing launch party for new single

The Nelson band will debut “Moving On” on March 2

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Sledder dies near Fernie

Fernie Search and Rescue was tasked by the RCMP to respond to a sledder in medical distress

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read