If there was justice in the world, Webster's definition of "bohemian" would point to a picture of gypsy jazz man Dan Hicks. His cabaret guitar swing first delighted audiences back in the late 1960s, when he dropped out of an acid rock band to perform with the hot licks: a jazz violinist, a lead guitarist, a stand up bassist and two "lickettes" on back-up vocals and percussion.
The interweaving of gyspy music, swing and Hicks' dry sense of humor made him a sensation, which made it all the more shocking when he disbanded the Hot Licks in 1973. Instead of appearing on national TV shows, Hicks was content to write jingles and tinker with his band the Acoustic Warriors on a casual level that kept him in the driver's seat.
25 years later, Hicks resumed recording under the Hot Licks banner and hasn't looked back since. His latest record, "Tangled Tales," is so playful that it features a title track with scat vocals all the way through it. It's the perfect counterweight to his Mr. Wilson-from-Dennis-The-Menace grump-fest "The Diplomat" and his funky rendition of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
But just to give you a taste of where the Squirrel Nut Zippers stole their mojo, here's a clip of Dan and his orignal hot licks on the Flip Wilson show - complete with bizzaro use of the laugh track.
Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks perform Thursday Night At The Kravis Center 701 Okeechobee Rd, West Palm Beach. Tickets are $38.