Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin' Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

Cover Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'

Album info



Label: Surfdog Records, ADA US

Genre: Folk

Subgenre: Folk Rock

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Strike It While It's Hot!04:08
  • 2Where's The Money?04:38
  • 3That Ain't Right03:06
  • 4I Scare Myself03:41
  • 5I Don't Want Love03:33
  • 6Tangled Tales02:30
  • 7How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?04:27
  • 8The Piano Has Been Drinkin'04:19
  • 9That's Where I Am03:06
  • 10Hey Bartender05:30
  • 11I Feel Like Singin'04:20
  • 12The Blues My Naughty Baby Gave To Me04:38
  • Total Runtime47:56

Info for Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'

Lovingly reviving Western swing, Dan's band earned a rabid cult following in the early '70s. Here are 18 prime cuts: I Feel Like Singing; News from up the Street; Where's the Money; Reelin' Down, and more!

„Just where to place the free-range music of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks -- are they country? jazz? rock? Western swing? comedy? -- has always been a nettlesome problem, confounding the public and hyphen-crazy critics alike. For Hicks and his all-acoustic band were certainly all of those genres and then some, a marvelous amalgam of American music with a large dollop of humor thrown in for good measure. Subtitled "The Blue Thumb Years, 1971-1973," this 16-track collection touches on all of the group's major stylistic bases and more, making this a greatest-hits album on a group who never really had a hit. Pulling half a dozen tracks from their debut album, Where's the Money? (the title track, "I Feel Like Singing," "Reelin' Down," "Dig a Little Deeper," "News from Up the Street," and "The Buzzard Was Their Friend"), seven tracks from Striking It Rich ("Canned Music," "Walkin' One and Only," "The Innocent Bystander," "I Scare Myself" [which later became a hit for techno rocker Thomas Dolby], the wry humor of "Presently in the Past," "You Gotta Believe," Maryann Price's sendup of "I'm an Old Cowhand [From the Rio Grande]"), and three from their swan-song album, Last Train to Hicksville the Home of Happy Feet ("My Old Timey Baby," "Sweetheart [Waitress in a Donut Shop]," and "Long Comma Viper"), this hits almost all the high spots with not a lick of filler anywhere to be found. The transfers to disc sound vivid and dimensional, and the liners by compilation producer and music historian Todd Everett are fun, provocative, and spot-on, getting into just what made this group so special. As all three of their albums are available on compact disc, this compilation makes an excellent first-purchase introduction to this band.“ (Cub Koda, AMG)

Dan Hicks, rhythm guitar, vocals, percussion
Dave Bell, lead guitar
Paul Smith, bass
Richard Chon, mandolin, violin
Roberta Donnay, vocals, percussion
Daria, vocals, percussion

Dan Hicks
was born December 9, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of a career military man. The family moved to California when Dan was about five, eventually settling in what was then the small city of Santa Rosa, some 50 miles north of San Francisco.

Musically, Dan started out as a drummer, beginning while still in grade school. He played the snare drum in his school marching band, and by the age of 14 was playing gigs with area dance bands.

In High School, Dan developed an interest in broadcasting, and had a rotating spot on a daily 15-minute local radio program called "Time Out for Teens". He entered San Francisco State College in 1959, eventually earning a degree in Broadcasting. He took up the guitar around '59, and became part of the San Francisco folk music scene, playing and singing in local coffeehouses.

In the spring of 1965, Dan became the drummer for a nascent San Francisco folk-rock group called The Charlatans, who at that time were more of a concept than an actual working band. They did, however, find employment that summer as the house band at the newly opened Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. The popular hallucinogen-fueled dances held at the Red Dog were the direct inspiration for the legendary psychedelic San Francisco dancehall scene that blossomed shortly thereafter.

In addition to drumming, Dan also played guitar and sang with The Charlatans, performing some of his original songs. The Charlatans played for several years at all the noted San Francisco halls, but never achieved the commercial success enjoyed by other groups that came on the scene after them, such as Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service. As Dan explains it, "The Charlatans were kind of dysfunctional anyway. There was no real management, and it was just kind of some loose guys".

Dan had other ideas about the kind of music he wanted to make, and began putting together an acoustic combo which included two female backup singers, who were dubbed "Lickettes". Billed as Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks, the group began as an opening act for The Charlatans. However, Dan soon left the Charlatans and focused his energy on the Hot Licks.

Their efforts resulted in a recording contract with Epic Records. "Original Recordings" was released in 1969, but Epic's promotion of the album and the group was lackluster, and it was not a commercial success.

After some personnel changes, and a deal with Blue Thumb Records, what had then become the "classic" Hot Licks ensemble went on to produce the critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums "Where's The Money?” "Striking It Rich" and "Last Train To Hicksville". But, owing to pressures both internal and external, Dan broke up the Hot Licks in 1973, at the height of the band's popularity.

Dan then began a low-key solo career of acoustic performances. He wrote music for commercials, television, and movies-- including the music for a never released Ralph Bakshi animated film. That music was eventually packaged and released in 1978 by Warner Bros. Records as "It Happened One Bite", with cover artwork by Dan.

In the 1980s, he formed The Acoustic Warriors, a male combo with whom he toured. In 1994, they recorded the superb (and now out-of-print) live CD "Shootin' Straight", for the Private Music label.

Dan signed with Surfdog Records in 1998. "Beatin' The Heat", Dan's first studio opus since 1978, was released in August of 2000. It featured a return to the Hot Licks name and format - complete with new Lickettes. It garnered rave reviews, and was chosen by Time.Com as one of the Top Ten CDs of 2000. A live CD ("Alive & Lickin'") soon followed.

In September of 2003, Surfdog released a DVD/CD package featuring much of Dan's 60th Birthday Bash concert, as well as interviews with musicians of note speaking about Dan's influence.

2004 saw the release of "Selected Shorts", a dynamic and critically acclaimed studio CD, featuring contributions from such stars as Jimmy Buffett, Jim Keltner, Gibby Haynes, Van Dyke Parks and Willie Nelson.

"Tangled Tales", also on the Surfdog label, was released in 2009 to glowing reviews.

2010 saw the long-anticipated release of a Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks Christmas CD, and it was all Hicks fans had hoped for - and more! "Crazy For Christmas" was lauded by NPR's Fresh Air, the NY and LA Times, and The Washington Post. Called one of the Best of 2010 by the Village Voice, "Crazy For Christmas" also landed on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart.

In 2012, there was a huge concert event to celebrate Dan's 70th birthday. It was an amazing evening featuring guest appearances by Ricki Lee Jones, Harry Shearer, Maria Muldaur, Roy Rogers, Tuck and Patti, Sid Page, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and many others! The night resulted in Dan’s latest release “Live at Davies” which has several of Dan's biggest hits as well as some never before released live!

Today, Dan tours worldwide with an updated version of the Hot Licks, and occasionally gigs at various jazz venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, as a vocalist with his swingin' combo Bayside Jazz.

Not only does Dan Hicks continue to delight his long-time fans, he has earned the attention of a whole new generation of music lovers.

Booklet for Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'

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