The Graveyard Shift

Dakota Dave Hull: The Graveyard Shift
October, 2019 · Arabica Records CF-30


Dakota Dave Hull

Guitars, baritone guitar, piccolo guitar, guitar-banjo

Track List

  1. River Road Ride (Hull) 3:09
  2. Old Joe Clark · When I Was a Cowboy (traditional) 4:40
  3. Nicollet Island Rag (Hull) 5:06
  4. Shine on Harvest Moon (Bayes/Norworth) 3:09
  5. Buffalo Gals (traditional) 3:03
  6. Bahamian Lullaby (traditional) 2:55
  7. Yodogawa Glide (Hull) 3:03
  8. Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor (trad.) · Careless Love (trad.) · Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me (Meyer/Hurt) 5:43
  9. He’s in the Jailhouse Now (traditional) 3:12
  10. The Graveyard Shift (Hull) 2:41
  11. Cavalier Rag (Hull) 3:47
  12. South Wind (traditional) 2:11


  • Produced by Dakota Dave Hull
  • Recorded at Arabica Studio, Minneapolis
  • Mixed and mastered by Steve Wiese, Miles Hanson and Dakota Dave Hull at Creation Audio, Minneapolis
  • Cover Photo by Doug MacKenzie
  • Back cover and inside photos by Cheryl Hall. Riverside Cemetery, Fargo, ND

“If religion was a thing that money could buy, the rich would live and the poor would die.“

Dedicated to the memory of Mitch Podolak.

Notes from Dave

Once again I’m doing quite a bit of traditional folk music. As I get older I’m drawn more and more to the stuff that piqued my interest in the first place. He’s In the Jailhouse Now—sometimes called “He’s in the Graveyard Now”—was commonly performed by artists on both sides of the color line, most notably The Memphis Jug Band and by Jimmie Rodgers. Played here on the Fairbanks Electric guitar-banjo. Old Joe Clark has too many sources to mention, but the idea of doing it in F# came from Eric Schoenberg. Lead Belly’s When I Was a Cowboy somehow fits right in with it. Also played on the Fairbanks Electric.

I thought Buffalo Gals (also known as “Alabama Gals”) would sound great on the Hoffman baritone guitar. It’s in the equivalent of drop D tuning, drop A on the bari. Bob Gibson was responsible for introducing the Bahamian Lullaby, also known as “All My Sorrows” or “All My Trials” to the folk revival. Gibson recorded it in 1956 and it became a revival staple, recorded by more folkies than you could shake a stick at. I don’t think anyone ever topped Odetta’s version. I like the way it sounds on the guitar-banjo.

Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor has roots in the late 19th Century. Blind Boone used it as part of his “Southern Rag Medley No. 1: Strains from the Alleys.” Mississippi John Hurt did it. It shows up in jazz circles as well as blues and country music. Similarly, Careless Love is just as ubiquitous. William E. Meyer’s and John Hurt’s Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me shares some melodic and chordal ideas with Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train.” The National Style 1 tricone isn’t just for blues. I like the way it sounds on all three of those tunes and it works as well on South Wind. That one is a traditional Irish piece often mistakenly associated with Turlough O’Carolan. Shine On, Harvest Moon, from 1908, probably was written by Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth. It’s another fun tune to play on the Style 1.

I’ve included five originals on this offering. The Graveyard Shift, played on the New Era Big Boy, takes me back to the occasional need to supplement my musical income. Yes, show business is glamorous.

My friend Peter Ostroushko’s first home was on an island in the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. I dedicate Nicollet Island Rag to him and play it on the Fairbanks Nick Lucas. In the mid-‘90s I took a drive down the Great River Road, from Minneapolis to St. Louis, crossing every bridge. River Road Ride is the memory of that, as well as looking ahead to the other half, St. Louis to New Orleans. I used the National Style 1 on that one. Speaking of rivers, the Yodo is the principal one in the Osaka area of Japan. You can see it it from my friend Xavier’s place in Moriguchi. The Yodogawa Glide reminds me of that view. I played it on the Brentrup Grand Concert.

I’ve had the delightful experience of sharing a home with two Cavalier King Charles spaniels. The first one, Cavy (Cavanaugh) was the most laid-back dog I’ve ever known. Now Cheryl Hall and I live with Kobe and he’s a handful, like most young dogs. The Cavalier Rag attempts to capture his energy, playfulness and personality. He’s a small beast, so I played it on the National piccolo guitar.

I used a few cool instruments on this recording. A National Reso-Phonic Style 1 guitar, a Hoffman Baritone, a Fairbanks Nick Lucas, a New Era Prairie State Big Boy, a Brentrup Grand Concert, a National Style N piccolo guitar, and a circa 1890s Fairbanks Electric guitar-banjo with a neck by Hoffman guitars.

Thanks to Jerry Clark, Cheryl Hall, Eddie Celitti, and Steve Wiese

Dave proudly endorses Hoffman Guitars, National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Fairbanks Guitars, New Era Guitars, Brentrup Guitars, Martin Guitars, John Pearse Strings, Manhattan Audio Technicians, St. Paul Guitar Repair, True Stone Coffee, Karura Cases, Waverly Tuning Gears, and Shubb Capos.

This album is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Mitch Podolak. Mitch changed everything in the North American folk scene. There simply aren’t any words.

—Notes by Dakota Dave Hull, August 2019