June 11, 2012, 2:33 pm
Singer-songwriter Dan Hicks still going strong says Cynthia Orlando, in this concert review.
Dan Hicks opened the first show of his current tour in Eugene Friday night.
Singer-songwriter and American icon Dan Hicks opened the first show of his current tour in Eugene Friday night, playing before an adoring and appreciative crowd at the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts. Hicks' dry wit, affable personality and skill at gathering a great set of singers and musicians to his side made for a memorable night at the Shedd, a downtown venue locally renowned for its first-rate acoustics.
These days, Hicks plays his swing/jazz/country sound with female vocalists "The Lickettes," and two other male musicians (guitar, violin/mandolin) he merrily called "The Lickmen." His new material, including "Song for My Father" and "Blues My Naughty Baby (Gives to Me)" showed he's still adapt at crafting great music and toe-tapping tunes that make us smile. And, although he's good at poking fun at himself - once introducing himself as Mitt Romney, and later, as Charlie Sheen - his music still has rhythm, his voice retains its golden tone and his laid back style still resonates.
Hicks informally bantered with the crowd in a friendly, stream-of-consciousness kind-uva way. "Our music is caucasian hip-hop," he announced, and introduced "I Scare Myself" with: "I was in love when I wrote this song…either that, or I'd just eaten a huge hash brownie."
A tight performance, the band played two smooth, melodious 45-minute set lists including "I Feel Like Singing," "I Scare Myself" and "Canned Music." The exquisite violin of Benito Cortez - who also plays mandolin and performed with Hicks last year at a tribute for Willie Nelson - was also exceptional. The mostly-older crowd was highly appreciative, calling Hicks and company back for an encore.
"I feel like dancing, I feel like steppin' out..."
Other acts coming to the Eugene area this year include Buddy Guy with Jonny Lang, Emmylou Harris, and Michael Franti & Spearhead (all at the Cuthbert Amphitheater).
Dan Hicks music & concert schedule is HERE.
Thank you to Cynthia Orlando. Check out more at Twitter @CynthiaOrlando