How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away

performed by The String Rays

written by Dan Hicks, © Quartet Music Inc. and Range Road Music, Inc.

  • Tim Sheehan – vocals, lead guitar
  • Dave Monterey – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Rick Loheyde – violin
  • Dan Ransford – drums and percussion
  • Kent Fossgreen – bass guitar

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We can still recall that sepia-toned portrait of Dan Hicks on the old Avalon Ballroom poster of the sixties advertising The Charlatans in San Francisco. His cascading mustache and euphoric dazed look brought you right inside. Dan’s persona has been as charismatic in these ensuing years as it was back then.

Where’s the Money? Dan had no qualms about releasing albums like this with his Hot Licks that spoke cosmic truth with a deadpan humor. Dan’s sweet and unpre-dictably cool vocal rode high on a swing tempo – who among us could resist?

According to local legend, Arkansas born Dan Hicks came to Santa Rosa just in time to go through grade school and high school here. Few may be aware that the drums were his instrument of introduction into musical performance including with The Charlatans in 1965. It makes good sense though when you consider the keen sense of rhythmic expression displayed in his original songs.

The Charlatans

The Charlatans – Avalon Ballroom Poster

By the time me and my musical pals began covering How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away it was mid-seventies and Dan was a local boy who’d made good, easily spotted between shows in places such as Mill Valley or Fairfax. As fate would have it, we found a friend in Dan’s ‘old timey baby’ who was also the subject of How Can I Miss You. She’s a great lady and has happily endured the ‘clinging’ caricature that Dan parlayed into a centerpiece for his song catalogue.

When The String Rays came together six years ago (a reunion of musical friends from past ensembles) we revived a favorite tune that evoked the fun of our own history and paid homage to a great local artist for which whom we feel a sense of rooted kinship. Hey, when we got wind of the Covers project, we jumped at the chance to declare our fanship.

Dan, this one’s for you, we added a twist of funk styling we thought the rhythm man in you would dig to hear. Here’s to health and sanity, and a bit of euphoria!

The Sting Rays

The Sting Rays