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It’s not about retro or modern, it’s about this note or that note, which sounds better?
– Dan Hicks
There’s some pictures of me playing hollow bodies, but I never last long. I always come back to the acoustic.
I guess my idea of a good audience is one that’s quiet and listens, but also that’s alive: they respond, they’re getting the jokes, they’re with me. And that’ s been happening.
My stuff was more of a folk coffeehouse thing, with more acoustic guitar, just me doing a single, and then adding on instruments and voices, with emphasis on lyrics and singing and light kind of acoustic jazz.
About 10 years ago, I took some vocal lessons. I’ll bet that helped. I got a tape of exercises that the girl gave me, which I don’t do anymore, but they were good. And I don’t smoke.
I haven’t been drinking for years now. Something’s got to give. I don’t mind that I’m a guy that’s stopped drinking, though this interview is making me mighty thirsty.
I was always looking to record, but how much I actually pursued it was another thing. The major labels weren’t that interested in me, and the smaller labels didn’t have any money to do anything.
I don’t think I’d want a revival. I’m not doing a tribute to myself.
Right now, I’m thinking in terms of just having a good band, man. Having a good act for the stage. Being a good performer, you know? Connected to that is future recordings, and future tunes, that kind of stuff.
I had different bands. I played with the Acoustic Warriors for the most part, without girl singers. It was the same kind of sound, acoustic guitar, bass, with violin and sometimes accordion, and the guys would sing, that kind of thing.
There’ve been periods where I had to convince the audience or win them over.
I don’t dictate the solos and I don’t dictate the vocal harmonies.
There’s been a big buzz about the Charlatans in the last couple of years. I’ve heard the word Charlatans more in the last few years than I’d heard it for the previous 20 years. People would interview me for years and never even mention the Charlatans.
And it really is a good feeling to get up there and make that sound. I’m not stuck in a time warp, because I can use as many of the old songs as I want to, just the favorites.