Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks Pack
This is a set of guitar lessons on songs from Dan Hicks' early days with his band, The Hot Licks.
Songs in the pack:
1. I Scare Myself
2. Moody Richard (The Innocent Bystander)
3. O'Reilly At The Bar
4. I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)
5. Sweetheart (as done by Maria Muldaur)
And a bonus lesson on Maria Muldaur's Midnight At The Oasis
Lesson 1: I Scare Myself
Dan Hicks bought an old time swing/jazz/country style to a new generation in the 1970s. He had been a big part of the San Francisco music scene for a couple years when he put together The Hot Licks. Their first album, Original Recordings didn't get much notice but then then got picked up by Blue Thumb Records and put out three more successful albums.
I Scare Myself appeared on the first album but was reworked for Striking It Rich, their third album which came out in 1972. The song has a bit of a Spanish feel with an unusual pair of chords going back and forth. This opens the door to improvising using a slightly obscure scale/mode.
The lesson mostly goes over the chords and progression, with a big dose of theory on the three versions of the minor scale.
Lesson 2: Moody Richard (The Innocent Bystander)
Dan Hicks whimsical style brought us dozens of quirky songs that are very fun to listen, and very fun to play, consequently. Moody Richard was on The Hot Licks album Striking It Rich, which should be required listening for fans of the swing/jazz/country world.
This acoustic breakdown is pretty much how I used to play it with a partner back in the 1980s. The song is in the key of G Major, with quite a few borrowed chords and excursions into chords that aren't used together commonly. Most of the parts are strummed with a basic pattern but the verse uses arpeggio picking with some passing bass notes.
Lesson 3: I'm An Old Cowhand (From The Rio Grande)
Dan Hicks 3rd album, Striking It Rich really set the stage for where their career, and niche was heading. The catchy, quirky songs brought smiles to everybody's faces and got toes tapping to the swing rhythms. Dan wrote most of their songs but they reached back about 40 years to this lighthearted tune by Johnny Mercer. It was originally recorded by Bing Crosby, then followed by dozens of artists. Dan's take on it featured Maryann Price on vocals.
This lesson takes a basic strumming approach to the progression in the key of D. It also includes a short introduction that incorporates the melody into the strumming.
Lesson 4: O'Reilly At The Bar
O'Reilly At the Bar is just one of dozens of light-hearted, offbeat songs from the brilliant mind of Dan Hicks. The tune is from his 3rd album, Striking It Rich, which should be in everyone's music library. The song only uses two different chord shapes and the progression should be obvious once you have the chords under your belt.
The lesson includes a detailed look at a percussive comping technique that is really useful for all guitar players, especially those without nearby rhythm sections.
Lesson 5: Sweetheart
Maria Muldaur had a big hit with Midnight At The Oasis. Her follow up album, Waitress In A Donut Shop, included her version of Sweetheart, a song written by Ken Burgan and first done by Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks. Maryann Price had the lead vocal in that version and Maria was inspired to add it to her second album.
The song features many jazz voicings of chords, pretty much changing every two beats. The lesson goes over a few different ways to play most of the chords, and a percussive, comping style common to old jazz tunes.
Lesson 6: Midnight At The Oasis - Maria Muldaur - Guitar Lesson
Maria Muldaur burst on the solo scene in 1973 after a few years in New York with The Even Dozen Jug Band and other old-timey, swing folks like Dan Hicks. Midnight At The Oasis was on her first album and remains her biggest hit by far. The song features some jazzy chords and syncopated strumming patterns that will make it pretty challenging for most guitar players. The lesson breaks the changes down measure-by-measure and even beat-by-beat.