Date: April 2 2009
From:Chuck West
Subject: Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA
To: hixlist

I went to see Dan a week ago (March 25th) at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California. The last time I saw him was four years ago at the same venue. Surf Dog Records is just up the road in Encinitas.

All of the available seats were taken, so my two friends and I decided to stand in front of the stage where we knew Dan would be. There was a warm up act which started shortly after 8:00 pm. It was two female singer/songwriters who were really quite good. By the time Dan went on about 9:30 pm, the place was packed.

It was a great show and Dan was in fine form. The band, I believe, is the usual lineup; Dave Bell [lead guitar], Richard Chon [violin, mandolin], Paul Smith [bass], and Lickettes Daria and Roberta Donnay. Dan was dressed very nice as always, and he played a blond Epiphone guitar. There was a great deal of exchange between Dan and the audience. He described their style of music as Caucasian Hip Hop.

Here are the songs in the order they were played:

Topsy/Swing 42
Savin’ My Lovin’
‘Long Come A Viper
Tangled Tales album promo song (very funny)
The Diplomat
I Scare Myself (excellent fake guitar solo by Dan)
Song For My Father
Payday Blues
Let It Simmer!
The Blues My Naughty Baby Gave Me
Tangled Tales (I loved the scat singing)
The Buzzard Was Their Friend (when did the name change to “Black Headed Buzzard”?)
My Blue Heaven (great dancing with the Lickettes)
Subterranean Homesick Blues (Dylan song on the new album)

Evenin’ Breeze

One of my friends had never seen Dan perform, and he just about lost it when Dan kicked his leg out on the first song. He really wasn’t expecting that. Overall, one of the best performances I’ve seen since I’ve been going to Dan’s shows in the early 90’s.

Chuck West