From: Jim & Vicky Howell
To: <shorty@danhicks.net>
Subject: Urban Blues in the Mountain Air
Date sent: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 07:53:54 -0700

(Written by Jim Howell of Chico, California, whose face still hurts
from smiling so much at the show)

Dan and the crew brought his self-admitted "urban" sound to the
"Music in the Mountains" series at the Nevada County Fairgrounds
in Grass Valley, California last night, June 19. An outdoor
venue, it was perfect for low slung beach chairs, beverages of
choice, and picnic style eats. An appreciative crowd, seemingly
starved for some Hicks tunes and humor, drank, ate, and
generally enjoyed themselves. A note to anyone who might come to
a show here--these people know how to seriously enjoy themselves
outdoors with a sort of fresh air elegance not usually seen with
outdoor music. Demonstrating the axiom, The Show Must Go On,
Dan and the Hot Licks hit the stage short one Lickette, as Susan
was reportedly still navigating Highway 49. Dan was in a silver
and black ensemble (OK, maybe silver OR gray shirt and black
trousers), and two toned shoes that drew lots of appreciation
from fans. Playing his first show with the band, violinist
Richard Chon wore a white hat, a stylish gray jacket, and a look
of pleased surprise each time a solo was rewarded with applause.
The equally well appointed Annabelle Cruz, Dave Bell, and Corky
Rodriguez rounded out the band. Tunes played were:
1) Canned Music
2) Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
3) Hell, I'd Go!
4) Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia (Susan makes her entrance)
5) I Scare Myself (Dan as the heavy metal guitar god)
6) Wild About My Lovin'
7) 'Long Come A Viper
8) Exactly Like You
9) Honeysuckle Rose
10) 4/5 Time
11) Shootin' Straight
12) How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?
13) I've Got A Capo 0n My Brain
14) I Feel Like Singing
15) Is This My Happy Home?
16) Evenin' Breeze
-----Band leaves the stage to wild, begging applause, then returns for
two encores. 17) Payday Blues 18) The Buzzard Was Their Friend

In the end, the "loosest" show from the band that we have seen--lots of
between song patter (including cultural references relating to highway
safety, Britney Spears, Jimmie Rodgers, Fats Waller, dysfunctional
families, and hashish brownies), the band really "working" together under
potentially stressful circumstances, and lots of onstage smiles. As usual,
Dan demonstrated his legendary ability to handle shouted requests for
tunes and a "noodle" dancer at the front of the stage, who was finally
escorted off (followed by a choice comment from Dan). Following the show,
Dan spent generous time with "his people", signing and talking. Dave Bell
and Richard Chon also spent time with the crowd, sending us all off into
the clear mountain night humming.