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Dan Hicks dies at 74

Saturday, February 6, 2016 – Dan Hicks, who gained fame as head of the Hot Licks, died today at 74 at his home in Mill Valley, Cal. after a two-year battle with liver cancer.

Hicks began his musical journey as a drummer in the ' 60s San Francisco rock band The Charlatans before forming Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks in 1967 with violinist David LaFlamme. The band played everything from psychedelia to western swing and jazz, from Tin Pan Alley to country blues. His most famous songs are I Scare Myself" and "Canned Music."

The original Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks recorded five records for the Columbia, Blue Thumb and Warner labels.

Hicks signed with Surfdog Records in 1999 and re-assembled the Hot Licks, with a new incarnation releasing "Beatin' the Heat" in 2000, featuring collaborations with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones and Brian Setzer. That release was followed by the live CD "Alive & Lickin'" in 2001.

His latest album, "Live at Davies," was released in 2013.

Hicks is survived by his wife, Clare, who he married in 1997. In a statement posted on his web site, she wrote, "My darling darling husband left this earth early this morning. He was true blue, one of a kind, and did it all his own way always. To all who loved him, know that he will live forever in the words, songs, and art that he spent his life creating. He worked so hard on each and every detail -- they are all pure Dan.

"So, Duke, Benny, Django and Stephane -- he's on his way -- you'll be laughing soon!"

CD reviews for Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks

Crazy for Christmas CD review - Crazy for Christmas
Every year, somebody puts out what they believe to be the ultimate cool Christmas album. In their estimation, this new music is in stark contrast to all of yesterday's old-timer drivel. In other words, it is music that is in step with today's sound fashion. Of course, next year all of it will simply sound stupid. Then, on the other hand, there's Dan Hicks. This man is eternally cool. Along with his floozy Lickettes backing vocalists, he creates music that would have sounded just »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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