Beginning as a drummer in the seminal '60s San Francisco rock band The Charlatans and continuing with the unique and legendary Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Dan Hicks is widely acknowledged as one of the central defining figures in American roots music. Hicks has earned a reputation as a true original with his signature eclecticism and humor. He continues to carve his own way through a number of genres from proto-psychedelia to western swing and jazz; from Tin Pan Alley to country blues, while always cultivating his own unique sound.
The original Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks recorded five groundbreaking and Billboard-charting records for the Columbia, Blue Thumb and Warner Bros. labels. They toured worldwide and Dan appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine three times. The newest incarnation of DH & HL released the wildly successful Beatin’ the Heat in 2000, featuring collaborations with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones and Brian Setzer. USA Today called it “one of the blessings of the new millennium.” That release was followed by the live CD Alive & Lickin' in 2001, and the late-2003 CD/DVD Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks Featuring an All Star Cast of Friends. That project reunited Hicks with virtually every musician he has ever played and recorded with. Both Mojo and DownBeat Magazine rated it "Four Stars...one of the best CDs of 2004."
2005 brought the newest studio release Selected Shorts featuring special guests Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Gibby Haynes, Jim Keltner and Van Dyke Parks. Widely touted as the band’s best CD yet -- The New Yorker Magazine remarked "As great as his early masterpiece Where’s the Money? …truly superb."
The release of Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks tenth studio CD in 2009, Tangled Tales, was produced by GRAMMY®-winner Chris Goldsmith (Blind Boys of Alabama). The widely acclaimed release on Surfdog Records features all new Dan Hicks original songs and special guests David Grisman, Roy Rogers, and Charlie Musselwhite, among others. To quote Daily Variety, "Dan Hicks is at the top of his game…unlike many pop artists today, a new studio album from Dan Hicks is like a new painting from Picasso."