Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks: Beatin' the Heat (2000)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks
Beatin’ the Heat

Nearly twenty years after Jimmy Buffett gave whimsy a bad name, Dan Hicks is back to set things right, and though everyone from Rickie Lee Jones and Elvis Costello to Tom Waits and Bette Midler show up to add hot licks, it’s Hicks himself who makes preferring food to sex (“I Don’t Want Love”) and being straight to being stoned (“He Don’t Care”) seem like the secret of life. The genre, by the way, is jazzy folk, and though Hicks’ doesn’t steal “The Piano Has Been Drinking” from Tom Waits, he does reclaim “I Scare Myself” from Thomas Dolby. Rating: Four last trains to Hicksville out of five.

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