Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks “Where’s The Money?”


Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#639 in the Series) is Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Where’s The Money?

What do I look for in a band? Some of the elements that I like to see to make me really like an artist are 1) Great Musicianship. 2) Great Writing 3) Uniqueness, and a little 4) Sense of Humor for good measure. When you throw all those in the pot you usually get something that’s fairly entertaining to listen to. One of my all-time favorite bands that easily qualifies on all four fronts is NRBQ and another one would be these guys Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks. In fact I’m giving this great album another listen I’m surprised how much I can actually hear similarities between the two bands. Yes, the instruments they play are completely different. NRBQ is plugged in and uses your basic guitar, bass, keyboards and drums while Dan Hicks and his band use acoustic instruments, mainly guitar, fiddle, mandolin and some percussion. But when you really listen to the music you can tell similarities in lyrics, song structure, harmony structure and tempo. In fact if you listen to the track “News From Up the Street” it almost sounds like NRBQ’s Joey Spampinato on vocals. Since both these bands have been around for 40 years I’m sure they’ve crossed paths and I also bet that they’re fans of each other.

If there was another band I put in to this mishmash of sounds it would be Asleep and the Wheel as there is more than a hint of swing in their sound.

Where’s the Money? Is probably Dan Hicks most popular album. I still hear the title cut of the radio. You probably do too if you’re listening to the right stations. It featured their classic lineup which is listed below. It’s a live album that has left some of the in between song banter available. It really helps bring out Dan’s personality. I have a good number of live DVDs and live albums of the same shows of many bands and until you watch the DVD, I never realized how they always take the in between song chatter out of the albums. I believe that they should leave it in a little more often. This helps tell the story of what it was like to be there that evening.

Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks had an interesting way of using the two female backing vocalists. They didn’t just harmonize but often used their input as more of a duet style. This is where much of the band’s uniqueness comes from. I wish I could’ve found more songs for the video playlist below but I did find the main songs and if you give them a listen to it you should be able to hear what I’m  describing.

Dan Hicks is turning 70 years old this year and is still out on tour. I have a link to their itinerary below. Also look for a huge 70th birthday bash in April in San Francisco. There will be many special guests that night. Scheduled to be there that evening include Maria Muldaur, Rickie Lee Jones, John Hammond, Van Dyke Parks, Harry Shearer and Ray Benson. The original Hot Licks band will also be there.

Give a listen to playlists below especially the title track “Where’s the Money?” I’ve also included a song on this album titled “I Scare Myself.” That got some airplay too so I wanted to share it with you.

— Larry Carta

 Track Listing

  1. I Feel Like Singing Hicks 3:05
  2. Coast to Coast Hicks 2:45
  3. News from Up the Street Hicks 4:57
  4. Where’s the Money? Hicks 3:00
  5. Caught in the Rain Hicks 3:11
  6. Shorty Falls in Love Hicks 2:44
  7. By Hook or By Crook Hicks 3:15
  8. Reelin’ Down Hicks 3:21
  9. The Buzzard Was Their Friend Hicks 3:05
  10. Traffic Jam Hicks 3:29
  11. Is This My Happy Home? Hicks 3:53
  12. Dig a Little Deeper Hicks 2:21


  • Dan Hicks – Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
  • Naomi Eisenberg – Fiddle, Percussion, Violin, Vocals
  • Jaime Leopold – Bass, Double Bass, Violin
  • Sid Page – Harmony, Mandolin, Viola, Violin, Vocals
  • Maryann Price – Percussion, Vocals


Dan Hicks Cowboy photo by by jrpassell

Here some live Dan Hicks Below…

Here’s more from 1971 for you..

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Posted by Larry Carta

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