Dan Hicks is one of those artists you're pretty sure was never in it for the money. It's not that he doesn't take his craft seriously; it's just that his formula — a combination of just about everything under the sun — is a guarantee for cult status. In that arena, Hicks has few peers. To the uninitiated, his blend of Western swing, bluegrass, folk, jazz and straight-faced goofiness may seem a bit confused, but these alchemical antics are anything but. Only a musician preternaturally focused on his craft could create something so seamless and timeless by stitching together so many temporally and sonically disparate elements. Even more amazing is the fact that his laughs sneak up on you. It's often not until after a song is over that you even realize that you've been laughing. Subtlety and brazenness are odd bedfellows, indeed.