Time Machine

dakota dave hull time machine
Time Machine · Dakota Dave Hull
November, 2007 · Arabica Records CF-12


The Musicians
  • Kari Larson · resophonic guitar and tenor guitar
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again · Kari is my favorite musician on the planet. If you get to the Midwest and have a chance to hear her band, the Ditch Lillies, don’t miss it.
  • Anni Spring · fiddle
    Anni is one of the best old-time fiddlers around these parts with a real ear for finding crooked and unusual tunes.
  • Adam Hurt · banjo
    Adam is a truly elegant banjo player. I think it’s unfair for anyone to be that young and that good.
  • Laura MacKenzie · fife
    Laura, who plays most wind instruments (flute, pipes, concertina, voice), is active in the Irish-music community. Here she proves there’s a link between Irish music and blues.
  • Jim ten Benzel · cornet, trombone, trumpet, euphonium
    Another stalwart of the Minneapolis scene, this guy has fingers in lots of pies.
  • David Tousley · bass
    David is a wonderful bass player and a good guy to boot. He really nails the arco style of playing here, and that’s no mean feat.
  • Jim Field · drums, washboard, percussion
    I’ve known Jim, a consummate New Orleans style drummer and washboard player, for years, but this is the first time we’ve been able to record together on a project of mine. I sure hope it’s not the last.
  • Mikkel Beckman · washboard, tambourine, percussion
    Mikkel can make just about any found object sound good. You can hear him with the Brass Kings, the Crush Collision Trio, and Charlie Parr.
  • Dakota Dave Hull · guitar, baritone guitar, piccolo guitar, foot
    Blah blah blah.
Track List
  1. Clay County
  2. Tommy Peterson’s Waltz
  3. Shortnin’ Bread
  4. Bonny Prince Charlie
  5. Extemporé Rag
  6. Sail Away Ladies
  7. Sailor’s Hornpipe
  8. A Squirrel Is a Pretty Thing
  9. Fischer’s Hornpipe / Old Man and Old Woman
  10. Cluck Old Hen
  11. Old Dangerfield
  12. Colored Aristocracy
  13. My Old Kentucky Home / The Girl I Left Behind Me
  14. Which Side Are You On?
  15. Gypsy Karl’s Wedding / Rose of the Mountain
  16. What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?
  • Produced by Dave Hull
  • Recorded by Dave Hull at Arabica Studio, Minneapolis
  • Mixed and mastered by Steve Wiese and Dave Hull at Creation Audio, Minneapolis.
  • Photography by Dale B. Hanson
  • Graphics and Design by Nick Lethert
  • Thanks to David Alderson, Kari Larson, Jerry Clark, Pop Wagner, Mitch Podolak, Pete Mathison, Marshall Dana, Eric Peltoniemi, Charlie Parr, Jeff Molde, Sherry Minnick and Lonnie Knight
  • Special Thanks to M. A.
  • Thanks to the folks at National Reso-Phonic guitars. These guys brought my ‘29 Triolian back from the dead, and they made the baritone and the tricone heard here. They’re the best! nationalguitars.com
  • Thanks to the folks at Hoffman guitars. My old guitars are kept in great shape by Ron, Kevin, and Michelle. Plus, Charlie Hoffman made the piccolo guitar for me. They’re the best, too! hoffmanguitars.com
  • Dave proudly endorses National guitars, Hoffman guitars, Shubb capos and John Pearse strings. He uses phosphor bronze custom gauge sets on his flattops and custom nickel wounds on the resophonics.

Wouldn’t it be something if we really could go back in time, really could hear the groups that we see in the old photographs — you know, the ones with six mandolins, a banjo-guitar, a couple of horns, a cello, and a snare drum? A time when every town had a brass band that played tunes like Acres of Clams and Oh! Susannah every Saturday night. You might hear echoes of those days in the recordings of groups and performers like the Weems Stringband, Phillips’ Louisville Jug Band, W. C. Handy’s band, Vess Ossman, Fred Van Epps, and others.

This album is a bit of a departure for me. My lead and solo guitar playing is well represented here and elsewhere, but much of my performance through the years has been in a supporting role, playing rhythm or backing up other musicians. I dig it a lot, and it’s a big part of my musical life, so I thought I might offer some of that stuff here for your perusal. It’s a joy to play with musicians of this caliber.

Tune Notes

Clay County (Hull), Minnesota. It is the place I first became aware of the vast (I had no idea how vast) world of music beyond what you could hear on the radio. A place where, against all the odds, you’d find a new record or two in a good month to expand your horizons just a bit further. I dedicate this tune to the folks who were there at the beginning—Mark, John, Jerry, Robin, Shelby, Charlie, Eric, Dick, and the rest. The list could get pretty long. For me, it’s where this trip started, first place I ever stepped on a stage. Then they put me on one. Dave: National triolian, National Style One, Gibson Jumbo flattop, foot, other foot  · Adam: banjo  · Anni: fiddles · Laura: fife · David: bass · Jim t: cornet, trombone  · Jim F: snares, parade drum, tom tom  · Mikkel: washboard, foot

Anni learned Tommy Peterson’s Waltz (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring and Dave Hull) from Art Bjorngjeld. It probably came from North Dakota which explains why I like it so much. Dave: Kel Kroydon guitar · Anni: fiddle

I learned this version of Shortnin’ Bread (traditional, arranged and adapted by Dave Hull), an antebellum plantation song which probably originated on the minstrel-show stage, from Pop Wagner back in the ‘70s. I think this might be the way one of the jug bands could have approached it. Mama’s gonna make some coffee too! Dave: National Triolian · Adam: banjo David: bass · Jim F: washboard · Mikkel: washboard, foot · Jim t: trombone

Bonnie Prince Charlie (traditional, arranged and adapted by Adam Hurt and Dave Hull) is obviously a Scottish tune, but it made its way to America a long time ago. I love playing backup guitar behind fine musicians, and Adam certainly is one of those. Dave: Gibson Jumbo guitar  · Adam: banjo

Extemporé Rag (Hull) The venerable Coffeehouse Extemporé was the place to play in the Twin Cities in the late 1960s through the mid-’80s. I learned most of the performance basics there and met many of my life-long friends there, too. We didn’t know how lucky we were. For Sean Blackburn, Steve Alarik, and Dean Carr. Dave: Hoffman piccolo guitar

Sail Away, Ladies (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring, Adam Hurt and Dave Hull) is another irresistible tune that all kinds of people have performed. This was Bunt Stephens’ version, more or less. It’s a whole lot of fun to play, especially with musicians like Adam and Anni. Popular with the beatnik crowd, too. Don’t you rock ‘em, Daddy-O. Dave: Kel Kroydon guitar · Anni: fiddle  · Adam: banjo

Sailor’s Hornpipe (traditional, arranged and adapted by Hull & Larson) Back in the days of the great ships, the salt air would rot the wood that guitars and fiddles were made of, so the sailors played metal ones. Too bad they didn’t make Nationals back then. Kari and I played this as a duet for years, and Jim and Mikkel add just the right touch. Dave: National Style One tricone guitar · Kari: National Style N guitar  · Jim F: washboard · Mikkel: washboard, foot

A Squirrel Is a Pretty Thing (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring and Dave Hull) Anni learned this tune from our friend Sherry Minnick who sings it unaccompanied. Thought I heard a jaybird say I’ll marry you bye and bye. Dave: National triolian guitar · Anni: fiddle

Fischer’s Hornpipe (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring and Dave Hull) has roots that go back to Germany. Old Man and Old Woman (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring and Dave Hull) is a French-Canadian tune. Dave: Kel Kroydon guitar · Anni: fiddle

C luck Old Hen (traditional, arranged and adapted by Hull & Larson) My Old hen’s a good old hen, she lays eggs for the railroad men. Sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes enough for the whole darn crew! Dave: Gibson Jumbo guitar, foot · Kari: tenor guitar · Laura: fife · Jim F: parade drum, snare, cowbell

I love the way Adam plays Old Dangerfield (Monroe). His approach to this Bill Monroe tune proves, I think, that the traffic between old-time music and bluegrass doesn’t all run one way. Dave: Gibson Jumbo guitar · Adam: banjo

Colored Aristocracy (traditional, arranged and adapted by Dave Hull) A fiddle tune, originally a late 19th-Century cakewalk. I fingerpick it on the baritone guitar. Dave: National baritone guitar · Adam: banjo · Anni: fiddle · David: bass · Mikkel: washboard

I’ve always been fond of Stephen Foster’s songs, and My Old Kentucky Home (Foster, arranged and adapted by Hull & Larson) is another of my favorites. Weep no more, my lady, weep no more today. The Girl I Left Behind Me (traditional, arranged and adapted by Hull & Larson) has a local Minnesota connection–it was popular at Fort Snelling in the 19th Century. It probably started its life in Ireland, but it was used as a marching song in Britain (called Brighton Camp) in the days before the revolutionary war. Send me safely back again to the girl I left behind me. Dave: Hoffman piccolo guitar · Kari: tenor guitar

Which Side Are You On? (Reese, arranged and adapted by Dave Hull) This powerful union song was written by Florence Reese in 1931 against the backdrop of a particularly bloody strike in Harlan County, Kentucky. Pete Seeger’s version, the first one I heard, is the one I remember best, though New Lost City Rambler John Cohen has a splendid recording of it on a solo album. To this day the working and safety conditions in the mines remain dubious—worse than ever, actually.  In America, 2007 was the worst year for mining fatalities since 1926. Will you be a lousy scab or will you be a man? Dave: National baritone guitar · Jim F: tom tom

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” -Abraham Lincoln

Gypsy Karl’s Wedding (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring and Dave Hull) and Rose of the Mountain (traditional, arranged and adapted by Anni Spring and Dave Hull). Gypsy Karl was an itinerant fiddler from Norway back in, I think, the 18th Century. Anni got Rose from the playing of John Salyor of Kentucky. Dave: Kel Kroydon guitar · Anni: fiddle · Adam: banjo · David: bass · Jim F: snare

What Are They Doing in Heaven Today? (Charles Tindley, arranged and adapted by Dave Hull) On a sane and reasonable planet everyone in the world would have heard Washington Phillips sing this song. Peace abounds like a river they say, Oh, what are they doing there now? Dave: Gibson Jumbo guitar, National Triolian · Anni: fiddle · David: bass · Jim t: cornet, trumpet, trombones, euphonium · Jim F: parade drum, snare, traps · Mikkel: tambourine, foot