Set for release October 26th, the thirteen-track concoction of jazz, swing and folk features the veteran Hicks backed by a band composed of legendary drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan) and original Hot Licks violinist Sid Page, as well as some female call-and-response provided by the Lickettes.
Included in the set is Hicks' update of the Rosemary Clooney popularized "Come on-A My House." "I just put a different shuffle beat on it, made it more how I'd like to hear it," says Hicks. "It leans a bit towards Duke Ellington, having the gypsy violin and guitar stuff. A lot of it starts with the approach of 'What am I going to do with the girls?'"
With Nelson and the recently chart-topping Buffett unavailable to come and record in person, Hicks sent both singers detailed tapes outlining their parts. Although this process yields no memory-making stories, the well-humored Hicks is happy to fictionalize the account. "Willie was a little hungover when he got in, and Jimmy Buffett had this entourage that wouldn't keep quiet," he says, "but I wasn't even there, so what do I know?"
The follow-up to 2000's Beatin' the Heat -- which featured Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Brian Setzer and Rickie Lee Jones -- Selected Shorts is just the tenth LP of new material in Hicks' thirty-five-year recording career, a deliberate pace he's happy to maintain.
"I used to pick up my guitar and write songs every day," he says. "I don't really do that much now."