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 three more, New Shirt, Sheridan Square Rag and The Loyalty Waltz on Arabica Records. 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, Sheridan Square Rag, in 2002. He followed it up with The Loyalty Waltz and Time Machine and duo albums with Pop Wagner (Airship) and Duck Baker (When You Ask a Girl to Leave Her Happy Home). He put a book of his original Ragtime guitar tunes in 2012 and in the fall of 2013 a double CD, Under the North Star was released.