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Dakota Dave Hull

Classic American Guitar

 

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.


One of the best guitarists in the world." —Dave Van Ronk

"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

"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

"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 gave an outstanding performance in Sligo, Ireland. Unknown in Ireland he quickly had the audience enthralled with some beautiful compositions and several stunning arrangements of old classic tunes. An engaging storyteller he entertained and astounded in equal measure. A Beautiful night" —Aoife Flynn, General Manager, model::niland, The Mall, Sligo, Ireland

"Dakota Dave Hull wears many hats: KFAI Radio DJ. Record-company founder. CD producer. Hawaiian-shirt and vintage-guitar collector. Yet he's best as a purveyor of old-school Americana on acoustic guitar. Catholic in his tastes, he dips fruitfully into early jazz and blues, Tin Pan Alley, ragtime, country, Stephen Foster, Duke Ellington and even Harry Belafonte on the fine new CD The Loyalty Waltz. Highlights include a zippy, fresh medley of the hoary 'Camptown Races' and 'Swanee River', and a great homage to Dave Ray called 'Snaker's Gone'." —Tom Surowicz, Twin Cities StarTribune

"In a burg lousy with casually brilliant acoustic guitarists, Dakota Dave Hull still manages to stand out, and not just because of his colorful shirts. A masterful flat-picker and increasingly out-of-the-closet fingerstyle player, Hull is not only a magician on the strings, his distinctive arrangements of the vintage material he loves manage to be wry, spry, maybe even fly. Most importantly, his interpretations always find a fresh angle on well-traveled material. This gig will mark the release of Hull's new CD, The Loyalty Waltz (Arabica), almost certainly not a tribute to John Ashcroft. Among a handful of fine originals, including the wistful Dave Ray tribute 'Snaker's Gone', are sparkling renditions of pop tunes from the early days of the last century, old folk and blues nuggets, bits of jazz, and a jaunty, especially evocative Stephen Foster medley." 4—Rick Mason, City Pages, Minneapolis, MN

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