Eugene Weekly : Music : 9.6.07

Alive and Lickin’
Dan Hicks salutes Folk’s Golden Era in Corvallis

Corvallis … the Willamette coursing through the heart of town, the park right next to the river, nice restaurants and a small town feel. A Saturday night concert in Corvallis is a good excuse to frolic in the home of the Beavers, especially when the concert is one by Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks.

This weekend, Hicks and the Licks will salute “The Folk Years,” that revivalist period in American history that saw ordinary working people picking up guitars and banjos, strumming Ramblin’ Jack Elliott at parties, humming Joan Baez. This evening is billed as “a special salute to the history of folk music from one of acoustic music’s most accomplished performers … with a reunited band.”

Hicks and his band have created a musical revue; they rekindle not only their own classics but those of a number of respected folk artists. If your passion for the Limelighters or The Kingston Trio has never wavered, regardless of the length of your hair, this show will remind you why you remain ever loyal. Hicks will revive songs by those two classic favorites as well as Mississippi John Hurt, Jim Kweskin, Pete Seeger and the Weavers, The Roof Top Singers, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Lightin’ Hopkins, Koerner, Ray and Glover and Peter, Paul and Mary, among others.

For those of you whose knowledge of music goes back only as far as, oh, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Dan Hicks began his career as a drummer for the San Francisco rock band The Charlatans in the 1960s. Along the way, he dabbled in what you might call proto-psychedelia, explored western swing and jazz and had his hand in country blues. His hits “I Scare Myself” (a 1984 Thomas Dolby hit) and “I’m an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)” only hint at the diversity he’s capable of his in music.

In 2000, the newest incarnation of Hicks and his band released Beatin’ the Heat, featuring collaborations with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones and Brian Setzer. Alive & Lickin’ followed in 2001. He released a CD/DVD in 2003 entitled Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks Featuring An All Star Cast of Friends that reunited Hicks with virtually all of his past collaborators. Selected Shorts, 2005’s studio release, features guest performances from Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Gibby Haynes, Jim Keltner and Van Dyke Parks.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks with Terry Robb. 8 pm Saturday, 9/8. Corvallis High School Theater. $27.50 adv., $30 door. For show information call (541) 750-7990