Passerine, opening for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks (Skipper’s Smokehouse, December 16)..

One of the great things that happens at festivals like Riverhawk is that you never know who might be in the audience. Soon after Riverhawk, we got a note asking if we’d be interested in opening for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, at a show organized by WMNF (Tampa’s community radio station) at Skipper’s. For us, this was a triple: recognition from WMNF, a chance to play at a great venue like Skipper’s, and the opportunity to open for a national act of such stature. We said, “Sure thing!” and then had to wait a week or so (breathlessly) while the WMNF folks got approval from Dan Hicks.

The older Passerines can remember Dan Hicks in his youth (and theirs)– on TV, on the cover of Rolling Stone. The blurb on WMNF’s event page says: “Revered by and also having recently collaborated with such legendary artists as Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Bette Midler, Brian Setzer, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet, among others, Dan Hicks’ counter-culture appeal, which has twice landed him of the cover of Rolling Stone, has always been rooted in his songwriting. His lyrics have been touted as some of the sharpest-tongued, driest-witted, and subtly hilarious bit of irreverence ever committed to rhyme.” We especially liked the comment from Tom Waits: ““Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry!”

This will be a great show, billed as “Holidaze in Hicksville Extravaganza.” We admit that this is a little intimidating for us, a little old folk band from Sarasota. So we’ll be working on coming up with our own “holidaze” cheer for the occasion.

We hope to see all our local friends at the show for our set. The show starts at 6:00pm!

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