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July 6, 2009

"Dakota" Dave Hull & Sean Blackburn - Vol. 1 & Rollin' Along

Porco Rosso just posted a couple of great country-meets-jazz albums over at Guitar and the Wind. He talks about the history of the various attempts to fuse the genres, beginning with Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills. I thought I'd contribute to the musical discussion a bit, so here's an album I've been meaning to post for a while. This album is sorta acoustic western swing, with bits of bluegrass and full on string- or dixieland jazz, and it's all really fantastic music. Dave is one of the best acoustic guitarists around, and the supporting musicians are top-notch too. Pretty much every track is memorable.

Hailed by everyone from Dave Van Ronk to Doc Watson, from the Washington Post to downbeat, Dakota Dave Hull’s guitar style spans a wide musical geography to create an infectious, uniquely personal blend of jazz, ragtime, folk, blues, Western swing, and vintage pop. Dakota Dave is a restlessly curious, adventurous traveler along the broad highway of America’s music. In his playing the masters speak, but in a vocabulary that is Dave’s alone: alternatively mirthful and moving, always melodic.

A gifted composer as well as a strikingly original interpreter of older tunes, Dakota Dave calls what he does "classic American guitar." Folk legend Van Ronk called Dave "one of the best guitarists in the world."

Most of all, Dakota Dave’s music is great fun. As Douglas Greene (Ranger Doug of Riders in the Sky) puts it, "There is an imp within Dave Hull that always expresses itself on the fretboard; a witty, intelligent yet respectful imp who frolics in his music, an imp Dakota Dave neither fights nor lets take control, but simply absorbs into the heart of his style."

On stage or in the recording studio Dave has performed with Utah Phillips, Doc Watson, Robin and Linda Williams, Dave Van Ronk, John Renbourn, Paul Geremia, Spider John Koerner, Cam Waters, Sally Rogers, Butch Thompson, Peter Ostroushko, Garrison Keillor, and Norman Blake, among others. His albums include three with early performing partner Sean Blackburn and five solo efforts (the acclaimed Hull’s Victory and Reunion Rag, both on Flying Fish) with four more, New Shirt, Sheridan Square Rag, The Loyalty Waltz and Time Machine on Arabica Records. Airship, a duo album with singer/guitarist/fiddler Pop Wagner has been raising some eyebrows, too. His three albums with guitar and mandolin ace Kari Larson (also on Arabica) have become legendary.

At the urging of Van Ronk, among others, Dave released his first album of solo fingerstyle guitar tunes in 2002. He followed it up with another two years later and should have a third before too long. Watch for a live album, too.

"Hull is something of a guitar god in his native midwest, where he's been dazzling audiences for over 30 years with his lush finger-picking and quicksilver flat-picking. He is also a sly raconteur with an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage American music."
—Scott Alarik, Boston Globe, March 2004

"There's a million good things I could say about Dave Hull but I'll narrow it down to two: He's an excellent picker, both flatpick and fingerstyle, he collects some fine instruments, and we've been at a lot of good places to eat together."
—Norman Blake

"Dakota Dave brings a modesty and tenderness to the old classics he plays - qualities that are rare among guitarists of his stature and experience."
—Sarah Craig, Manager, Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY, March 2004

"Hey Dave, thanks for sending me your Loyalty Waltz album. I just put it on to use as background music for something I was reading. Damn you, I never read a thing. Listened to the whole album straight through. Nice album, my good man. Keep on."
—Geoff Muldaur

"Dakota" Dave Hull & Sean Blackburn - Vol. 1 & Rollin' Along

unfortunately, I can't find any information whatsoever about this album; some tracks look to be overlapping with 1980's River of Swing, but not all (see below)

and based on that album, I'm guessing some of the musicians on this one are:
Dakota Dave Hull, vocals, guitars
Sean Blackburn, vocals, guitars
Butch Thompson, clarinet, piano
Peter Ostroushko, vocals, mandolins, fiddle
Molly Mason, vocals, bass
James Mason, fiddle
Mike Cass, dobro, pedal steel
and some horn players, banjo, harmonica
official websites:
Dakota Dave Hull:
Sean Blackburn:

anyway, tracklist is as follows:
1 Old Fashioned Love
2 Blues for Dixie
3 Hillbilly Swing
4 Jingle in my Jeans
5 When You Go
6 Beaumont Rag
7 Fan It
8 Palomino Pal
9 I'll Keep Lovin' You
10 Dixie Cannonball
11 Miss the Mississippi
12 There'll be Some Changes Made
13 Boomtown
14 Walkin' in the Shadow
15 Ya Gotta Have a Moustache
16 Deep Water
17 What's the Use
18 I Don't Wanna Set the World On Fire
19 The Wicked Wind of Fargo
20 River of Swing
21 Searchin the Desert for the Blues
22 Rollin' Along

part 1 | part 2
mp3 192kbps | w/ images but no cover

* out of print
(but you can buy a bunch of Dave's awesome solo guitar records, on his own label, at his website. and you should. I'm going to!)

edit: Porco Rosso did some sleuthing and came up with this info:
Tracks 1-8 are from the album 'Ace Pickin' And Sweet Harmony' (Train On The Island TI-2, 1977)
Tracks 9-15: 'North By Southwest' (Biscuit City 1324, 1978)
Tracks 16-22: 'River of Swing' (Flying Fish Records FF-236, 1980)
All pretty obscure except for the Flying Fish album.

thanks to the original uploader (kike?), from the blues club


Anonymous said...

hey there, nice post, i usually never touch anything that says country, nowadays its more assiociated with that filthy radio countrypop.

anyways though unrelated to this post, i wanted to thank you for the roots of fahey thing, cause it turned me on to Bola Sete, who has become my favourite guitar player since i heard "let go".

so yeah keep educating me.


Anonymous said...

With advocates like Dave Van Ronk, Doc Watson and Norman Blake i need to hear this. Never heard of the guy. Thanks lot for the music and the hint to my blog, too.

Anonymous said...

P.S.: thanks again for your kind offer to upload Lenny Breau/Chet Atkins. I love the abum so much, i decided i need my own copy and just purchased one on eBay.

Anonymous said...

very nice stuff. great picking from two guys that didn't forget that music making is ought to be fun in the first place.
did a little further research:
Tracks 1-8 are from the album 'Ace Pickin' And Sweet Harmony' (Train On The Island TI-2, 1977)
Tracks 9-15: 'North By Southwest' (Biscuit City 1324, 1978)
Tracks 16-22: 'River of Swing' (Flying Fish Records FF-236, 1980)
All pretty obscure except for the Flying Fish album.

swboy said...

The yellow cover you have pictured is the back cover of River of Swing

The Irate Pirate said...

yes, swboy. i mentioned that in the post.

Thanks for your good sleuthing, porco!

Anonymous said...

I've owned River of Swing since the Seventies. This has been the only recording I've ever found of Dave Hull. Thank you very much for this posting. This is damn good.