Dan Hicks passed on in February of last year. His music is both easy and complex to describe. On some levels, it is an exact extension of the hot jazz/ gypsy music of Django Reinhardt and the country swing of Bob Wills, plus many other genres of music, all while looking like hippies. His band the Hotlicks was formed in 1967, split in 1972, reformed sometime before 1973 and split sometime thereafter with an occasional reunion, most notably in 1991. The band was sprung from the San Francisco area where Hicks moved as a youth. He was born in Little Rock Ark, in 1941. See what I did there? I did it backwards.
Anyway, this was his second record and it was done live. Recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the album features what his webpage calls the best known lineup of the band featuring Maryann Price and Naomi Ruth Eisenberg on vocals and percussion, Sid Page on first violin and mandolin, and Jamie Leopold on Double Bass.
I was really blown away how good this album was and how eclectic it sounded on one hand while making perfect sense on the other. The songs are all really good. Great musicianship and great vocals. Also , featured on the album is some of the best stage banter I have heard in a long time.
For a sample, I went with what I felt was the Best song on the record, “Caught in the Rain”. I also went with the first track, “I Feel Like Singing” because when I first listened to it, I thought the record was skipping. And if you really think about it, to accomplish that feat on a live record is really saying something.
Anyway, great album. Top Rated.