Personnel: Dan Hicks (vocals, percussion); Dan Hicks (guitar); Daria, Roberta Donnay (vocals); Dave Bell, Bruce Forman (guitar); Roy Rogers (slide guitar); Richard Chon (mandolin, violin); David Grisman (mandolin); Richard Greene & Beryl Marriott (violin); John Hunter, John "No-One" Hunter (strings); Charlie Musselwhite (harmonica); Austin DeLone (accordion); John Rosenberg (piano); Paul Smith (bass guitar); Brian Simpson (drums, percussion); R.C. Joe (timpani).
Audio Mixer: Jimmy Hoyson.
Recording information: The Plan, Sausalito, CA.
Translator: Paul "Scooby" Smith.
Arrangers: Dan Hicks; Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks.
"Just keep it mellow, keep it light" sings Dan Hicks on "Let it Simmer," the last track on TANGLED TALES, and if the former Charlatan has one credo, that would be it. Building on the loose synergy established by this version of the Hot Licks (formed in 2000), the album delivers yet another dose of easy-breezy, daffy witted, gonzo western swing, a genre of which Hicks can claim sole ownership and mastery. Backed by a line-up featuring some of the best in the business (David Grisman, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Forman) and the Lickettes, Roberta Donnay and Daria, whose vocals remain a staple of the band's unique sound and charm, Hicks offers eight original compositions like the sure-fire classics "Who Are You?" and "The Diplomat" and four covers, like his take on the Dylan standard "Subterranean Homesick Blues," recast here with a Marin County canter. In an era dominated by digital recording, artists can fake some aspects of technical performance, but they cannot fake feeling, soul, ease, and humor--gifts this old hippie and his compadres bestow by the bushel.