One Saturday afternoon in the early 1970's I was browsing the used record bins in one of my favorite record stores in downtown Winnipeg. I happened to buy two albums that day. I had never heard of either Eric Satie or Dan Hicks but I liked the album covers and very quickly came to love the music.
Eric Satie was a unique voice and character in early modern music and Dan Hicks was equally singular in the last half of the 20th century. In a time of glitter and glam and endless guitar solos, Dan Hicks was a songwriter whose influences ranged from all across the accoustic spectrum, from jazz to country swing. He had a sense of humor and great driving rhythms but it was in his ballads that I found his most moving moments. My favorite was "News From Up The Street" from his "Where's The Money" album.
Dan Hicks died a couple of days ago, on February 6, 2016, to be exact. This article from Rolling Stone talks a little bit about him and gives some nice examples of his music and stage personality. There is also a link to Dan's website in the article where you can purchase albums.
The photo above is one I took of one of my favorite trees, on a point at the end of Spanish Banks. Like the music of Dan Hicks and Eric Satie it stands alone and gives me joy and comfort every time I visit it.
Okay, no more death for a while.