COMBINED REPORTS - Cactus Cafe, Austin TX , January 20 2000

From: "Aaron Arnold"
To: "Hicks List" <>
Subject: Come Wis Me To Thee Cactahs (in memory of Hedy Lamarr)
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 10:53:49 -0600

The Austin gig at the Cactus Cafe, January 20, 2000, was memorable not only for the show itself, it was an occasion of the first time in person meeting of a group of Hixsters who were finally able to put images to names.  My local self, Ed Siteman who came in from Houston, Grant Wilton who drove up from San Antonio, and Kathy Carr, who along with her friends Deborah and Ed Greer, FLEW IN from North Carolina and Virginia!!  (How's that for real fans!)  We were joined by Maryann Price and a friend of hers.  None of them had met Maryann before, and they were all very taken by her friendly, cordial personality.  By the end of the night, we were all reminiscing like a college clique reunion.  Hopefully someday more of us can meet up at some type of Dan Hicks convention. How about to mark the next Hot Licks reunion if there ever is one?

The band consisted of Tom Mitchell and Dan, and of course Maryann joined in, for five songs.  Being a weekday gig, unfortunately, the Cactus was unable to hire an opening act, but it would have been Maryann for sure!  We were all grateful that she voluntarily contributed a bit.  The first set began with about five minutes of light humorous small talk, and then the following songs:

1. Payday Blues
2. Capo On My Brain
3. Caravan/Four Brothers
4. Shootin' Straight
5. Strike It While It's Hot
6. I Scare Myself
7. He Don't Care *
8. Buzzard Was Their Friend
9. News From Up the Street


10. Honeysuckle Rose
11. On A Slow Boat To China/At Sundown (vocals by Tom)
12. Cowboy's Dream #19
13. Waitin'
14. Somebody Tell Me The Truth *
15. I'm An Old Cowhand
16. Canned Music
17. Reelin' Down
18. Long Comma Viper
19. Play My Cello *
20. Crazy Cause He Is
21. Evening Breeze

22. Up! Up! Up!
(15 -17, 21-22 w/Maryann)

* not positive of the exact titles

"Reelin' Down" was the personal highlight.  Maryann and Dan sounded so natural together, they were truly meant to sing together.  I hope more can get a chance to experience it.
Aaron "Smokey" Arnold
'It's not my time to go'

From: "Siteman, Ed" 
To: "''" <>
Subject: re: Come Wis Me To Thee Cactahs
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 11:02:33 -0600

Warning - this is a long note.  Smokey did a fine job of reporting Dan's appearance at the Cactus last week, if you want to get the facts of what was played, check his note out - I'll add a little color commentary to his summary of the show.

It was a last minute decision to drive up to Austin for the show - I had been planning to see Dan here in Houston the following night.  It turned out that Friday night was also the night for my oldest daughter's first formal dance, so I decided to stay in town so I could take pictures and do all that Dad stuff. 

Earlier in the week I had just received the new Grateful Dead CD compilation "So Many Roads" - for any Dead fans out there, this is a real nice collection.  The 5 CD's turned out to be just about perfect for the ride; I listened to 2+ on the way up to Austin after work, and finished it off on the way home.  It was a perfect evening for driving - this was the night of the lunar eclipse - so there was magic in the air.

I got a little bit lost in Austin, and a little bit lost finding the Cactus, so I missed about 10 minutes of the show.  I could hear Dan singing Capo (I had missed Payday) as I bought my ticket, and went inside to a cozy little room with a bar along the back wall. The crowd (about 75 people) was attentive and into Dan and Tom.  I bought a cold draft then slipped into a chair in the back of the room.  Along side of me was a young couple with a baby and all three were enjoying themselves, bopping to the music.

Tom and Dan then went into a lovely Caravan/Four Brothers instrumental - they sounded so sweet.  They then played nice versions of Shootin' Straight and Strike It While It's Hot.  After this tune Dan informed us that tonight was going to be an informal show.  Several people at the time were getting up to get drinks or whatever and Dan said that he didn't mean that we could all get up <g>.  Dan was in good form tonight - I enjoy his between song patter almost as much as the music.

They next played a smooth version of I Scare Myself, one of my favorites.  Dan informed us after this song that we were in for a long we'd better get used to it.  He also warned us that the show was going to be in two parts - first the easy, relaxing one...then the hard, edgy, serious second half.  He then asked what the next largest performance space in Austin was, a step up from the tiny Cactus Club.  He thought that it might be the Broken Spoke - a place that he came back to several times during the night.  Smokey - I don't think there is such a place is there?  Whenever he mentioned it, it was good for some chuckles from the audience.

Dan then played the song that Smokey calls He Don't Care - I noted it as "He's Stoned" <g>.  This was a new song for me, pretty funny lyrics.  Dan would stare into the back of the room, all glassy-eyed, and stretch out the line "...he's stoooooooned..."

After this song Tom and Dan talked to each other a little bit and Dan told us that they were just acting like they had those expensive headphones on.

They broke into Buzzard, then Dan pointed out that Mister Garth Brooks was in the room, and asked Garth to come on down.  They finished up this fine set with News From Up the Street.

The lights come on, and I notice this guy heading from the front of the room, meandering through the crowd, holding a sign.  Kind of like when you come into an airport and you see the limousine drivers holding a sign up, looking for their passenger.  The sign said "Ed Siteman", and the driver for the night was Smokey.  He introduced himself and brought me up to a table right next to the stage, where he introduced me to Kathy, Deborah and Ed, and Grant.  It was so neat to put faces to the names that I've come to know over the years of being on the Hixlist.  We were getting introduced to each other when Maryann arrived and joined our little group, carrying a large purse.  What a great lady - she spoke to each of us, asked us where we were from, introduced us all to her friend Colleen.  Colleen was a real nice lady too - it was a warm and friendly group, and we were all primed for the second half of the show to begin.  Maryann reached into her large purse and brought out several copies of a new sampler CD that featured some new music from her as well as other artists.  She dished about the new Dan CD, giving some tidbits of who was appearing on well as who WASN'T. 

By the way - Colleen took several photographs of Dan and Maryann singing - Smokey, any chance that we could scan in some of these?  I'd love to see how they came out.

Dan and Tom walked by our table on the way to the stage and said hello to Maryann.  They opened with Honeysuckle Rose, then went into Slow Boat/Sundown, with Tom singing vocals.  He did a great job - this was the first time that I had heard him sing.

Somewhere in here Dan told us that it had been quite a week...quite a week.  A lot of firsts. Why, Tom had even lost his cherry this week.

Dan announced to the audience that Maryann was in the house, and this drew enthusiastic response from the crowd.  Dan said that she might come up and join him for a number or two, then looked over to see her empty chair... unfortunately she had left for a few moments.  Dan made some cracks about how maybe she had lost her voice...but if you snooze you lose, and he went into another song.  During Somebody Tell Me the Truth, Maryann reached again into her large purse and brought out a pair of maracas.  She started shaking them to the beat, and Dan looked over with a great big smile on his face.  After the song he invited her up on stage and they did Canned Music, Reelin' Down and I'm an Old Cowhand.  It was great to see these two together - we were close enough where you could hear them talk between songs to decide what to play next.  There was something magical about hearing them sing together, there is a chemistry there that you just can't deny, and it was a great thing to watch and hear.  The audience was enthusiastic and appreciative. 

Dan and Tom then wound up the second half of the show with Viper, Play My Cello, Crazy.  Maryann came back up on stage for Evening Breeze.  (I should mention at this point that Smokey was quite the gentleman, kept getting up to hold Maryann's hand to help her on to and off of the stage).

After the set Dan left the room, Tom stopped by to chat with Maryann at our table.  For the encore Maryann again joined them to sing Up!Up!Up! - a nice finale to a great evening of music.

After the show, we were all talking away when Dan and Tom stopped by on their way out the door to head to the next show.  Maryann asked Dan if he would come over to say hello to all of these folks who had traveled so far to see him.  I think it was in response to hearing that Deborah and Ed had flown in from North Carolina just to see him that Dan dead-panned "...North Carolina? We're playing there tomorrow night you know" 

Yikes - this note went on much longer than I had intended.  To wrap it up and take it home now, it was a great evening of music with Dan and Tom and Maryann.  Meeting Maryann and her friend Colleen was a real treat.  Smokey was terrific, thanks for being the host for a wonderful evening.  Grant, Kathy, Deborah and Ed - it was real nice meeting all of you.