Folk Swing and Gypsy Jazz musician Dan Hicks has passed away at the age of 74. Hicks and his band, the Hot Licks began performing in San Francisco in the late 60s with un-typically bay area music. With music more akin to Django Rheinhart than Jefferson Airplane, the group took off, introducing a whole new generation to swing music.
Teamed with classically trained violinist Syd Page, bassist Jamie Leopold, multi-instrumentalist John Girton and vocal duo Ruth Eisenberg and MaryAnn Price, the Hot Licks band shot into the stratosphere. Their album, Last Train to Hickesville was a classic with songs like Payday Blues and It’s Not My Time To Go. It should be in everyone’s collection. Hicks abruptly dissolved the band in 1973 and didn’t return to the studio until 2000 with an all star effort that included Willie Nelson and Tom Waits. His music did, indeed, take us to the home of Happy Feet.