In this life of ours, sometimes you plan and move along accordingly, sometimes chance just grabs the wheel and steers you toward your next chapter. On a break from touring with Cracker last year, my good friend Lynn called me up and told me "Johnny, there's a band from Denver you gotta see. They're right up your alley". Not long after that, my father-in-law and drinkin buddy Ted and I were grinning ear to ear, cold beers in hand as we watched a tall, dark handsome and slightly inebriated singer named Jim Dalton celebrate his birthday by diving ass over cowboy hat into a sea of adoring, mostly female fans in the front row. The girls passed the black clad birthday boy over their heads for a minute, then tossed him back onstage to finish a rip-roaring set with his band The Railbenders...that is Jim Dalton on guitar and vocals, Tyson Murray on stand up bass, Graham Haworth on drums, and Tony Nascar on guitar. The scene was crazy, joyful and a little dangerous all at once. Cut to the present (Monday, 8/6/2007).....after a year of drinkin, hell raisin', jammin', and writing together, Mr. Dalton and I find ourselves kicking back on our buddy John Macy's recording studio couch, popping a couple of cold ones and listening to the final mixes of "The Hickman Dalton Gang....Volume 1". We didn't start out to make three separate, concise CDs, each with its own flavor, but with the way the songs were materializing, the story began to tell US what to do. While Vol. 2 is already threatening to be a howling, good natured, electrified, stomping honky tonk opera of sorts, the first batch of songs that we completed together (or that just found us) were more haunting...darker, quieter. The words and music pointed us mostly toward instruments that were around in the mid to late 1800s and that is how we tell these tales. Its the old west...its adventures and misadventures, its joy, suffering, power, crime, freedom, friendship, bad luck, good luck, hope and bittersweet memories all rolled into one. Volume 1 that is. We hope you enjoy hearing it as much as we did making it.-Johnny Hickman
The following is an excerpt from Johnny's "official" bio for the Palmhenge release, courtesy ReviewNetMedia. © 2004 ReviewNetMedia.
"Hickman is best known for co-founding the band Cracker. His fiery lead guitar sound and spirited co-writing gave flavor to that band's alternative radio hits, including Teen Angst, Low, Get Off This, and Eurotrash Girl. Cracker, founded in 1991 with childhood friend David Lowery, has eight full-length releases to date. Kerosene Hat (1994) remains an alternative music collection staple. Lowery and Hickman together are seen as godfathers of the alternative music scene, who turned gently away from plaid-clad grunge in the 1990s with more countrified and bluesy stylings. Their collaboration with the jam-band Leftover Salmon in 2003 further proved that no one genre could contain them.
Prior to his tenure in Cracker, Hickman toured as a solo/folk acoustic performer, had a brief stint in the Unforgiven (a tongue-in-cheek-Western guitar rock band), and co-founded the Inland Empire (California) cult band the Dangers. Influenced by punk rock, surf guitar, and true Bakersfield country, Hickman's sound is often imitated but never perfected by anyone but he and his signature 1978 Les Paul.
Occasionally, Hickman ventures away from solo work and Cracker to spearhead side projects, such as All Thumbs Trio (with moe. guitarist Chuck Garvey, and East Coast guitarist Gibb Droll), and Crazysloth, an Arizona-based band. Film and TV work to date include one full film score for the independent River Red, as well as the placement of Lowery/Hickman songs in several popular films."
Jim Dalton is the lead guitarist for Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers (formerly known as the Refreshments), an independent rock 'n' roll band based in Tempe, Arizona. He is also the singer/songwriter and guitarist of the Railbenders. The Railbenders (formed 2000) are an independent country band based in Denver, Colorado. They have played festivals including Stagecoach, Jazz Aspen, and Mile High Music Fest. They have opened for legendary artists such as Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, David Allan Coe, and Charlie Daniels.
Along with Johnny, he formed the Hickman-Dalton Gang in 2006. They released their first record, Vol. I, in 2007.
Upon hearing their new record, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers (RCPM) invited the Hickman-Dalton Gang to play their then bi-annual Circus Mexicus festival in Puerto Penasco Mexico in October of 2007.
When RCPM was in need of a new lead guitarist in early 2009, Roger called his friend Johnny Hickman, and asked, "Hey, can I get that Dalton kid's phone number?" The rest, as they say, is history.
Released: June 28, 2011
You Got a Problem
Let's Toke the Whole Day Off
(Come On Back To) Stockton
Too Many Years
No Easy Way to Say Goodbye
Long White Line
Volume 2 reached #77 on the iTunes country album chart
Volume 2 is "a howling, good natured, electrified, stomping honky tonk opera of sorts" - Johnny Hickman
Released: October 5, 2007
My Name Is Dalton
Old Border Town
Long Tall Pine Tree
Justin O. Picker
"[This] batch of songs that we completed together (or that just found us) were more haunting...darker, quieter. The words and music pointed us mostly toward instruments that were around in the mid to late 1800s and that is how we tell these tales. Its the old west...its adventures and misadventures, its joy, suffering, power, crime, freedom, friendship, bad luck, good luck, hope and bittersweet memories all rolled into one. Volume 1 that is. We hope you enjoy hearing it as much as we did making it." - Johnny Hickman
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