Skip to content

River of Swing! · Dakota Dave Hull & Sean Blackburn

hull & blackburn river of swing

Arabica Records CF-22

Liner Notes by Jerry Clark

West Texas, Hollywood, New Orleans, Tin Pan Alley and their native Midwest – Dakota Dave Hull and Sean Blackburn straddle the wide boundaries of America’s musical geography.
No wonder, in one of this record’s more awesome and mysterious moments, they’re searching for the Mississippi blues in the desert. This America of the mind’s ear has its own distinctive landscape. Dave and Sean’s music fuses big city jazz, hard country, classic pop, traditional folk and whatever else is amenable to the creative interplay of guitars, fiddles, horns, mandolin and piano played by masters eager to explore all the possibilities. As the band swings as if in a state of exhilaration, Dakota Dave picks warm and fat notes and slick and sleek ones, and Sean croons like a hillbilly star on Broadway. It is difficult to remain seated while all this is going on. In this remarkable album, Dave, Sean and friends play some of the most original and dynamic big band Western swing to be heard since the glory days of Bob Wills. It’s enough, as one song here testifies, to get the water lilies wailing and the bullrushes bopping.
And you, too. What more could you possibly ask for?

-Jerry Clark

hull & blackburn new riv
hull & blackburn 1980

Dakota Dave Hull: vocals, guitars
Sean Blackburn: vocals, guitars
Butch Thompson: clarinet, piano
Peter Ostroushko: vocals, mandolins, fiddle
Molly Mason: vocals, bass
Mike (Razz) Russell: fiddle
James Mason: fiddle
Mike Cass: dobro, pedal steel
Jack Herrick: trumpet, bass
Bill Evans: trombone
Bill Hinkley: tenor banjo
Bob Bovee: harmonica
Curt Werner: drums
Prudence Johnson: vocals
Tom Lieberman: vocals
Eric Peltoniemi: vocals
Jay Peterson: scream

  • Executive Producer: Eric Peltoniemi
  • Produced by Dakota Dave Hull, Sean Blackburn, Peter Ostroushko and Butch Thompson
  • Valuable Production Assistance: Steve Wiese, Eric Peltoniemi and all the musicians.
  • Recorded by Steve Wiese, Creation Audio Recording, Bloomington, Minnesota, 1979
  • Mixed by Steve Wiese, Dakota Dave Hull, Sean Blackbum and Eric Peltoniemi at Creation, October, 1979
  • Front cover by Jay Peterson
  • Back cover and insert layout by Dave Hull
  • Photos by Ed Beaty, Ted King, Mary Buzard, Bob Olsgard, Randy Nordquist and Craig Schirfenberg
  • Notes by Jerry Clark
This album is dedicated to the memory of Milton Brown, Bob Dunn and their music.

Thanks to:

The Coffeehouse Extempore for the the rehearsal space.

The Podium for the use of the Gibson Howard Roberts guitar.

Steve Alarik, Ed Beaty, Rod Bellville, Mary Buzard, Jerry Clark, Mary DuShane, Janice Erdman, The 400 Bar, Mardy Grussing, Cal Hand, Al Haug, Hoffman Guitars, The June Apple Musicians’ Cooperative, Bruce Kaplan, Garrison Keillor, Ted King, Margaret Moos, Steve and Judi Moscov, the New Riverside Cafe, Lisa Null, Judy Ojard, Palmer’s Bar, Carl Peltoniemi, Sr., Cindy Peltoniemi, Jay Peterson, John and Carol Raun, The Red Clay Ramblers, Bill Schwab, Marge Wagner & Pop Wagner.

Special thanks to Peter Ostroushko and Butch Thompson for all the extra time and energy.

Dakota Dave Hull’s flattop acoustic cutaway guitar was custom made for him by Charlie Hoffman of Minneapolis.

(Rose) Milene Music (ASCAP)
Thanks to Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Vocal : Sean
Lead Guitar : Dave

(Delmore) American Music (BMI)
Thanks to Jim & Jesse McReynolds
Lead Vocal: Sean
Harmony Vocal : Molly
Fiddle: James
Lead Guitar: Dave

3. MONEY 3:56
(Clark-Hull) Flying Fish Music (BMI)
Lead Vocal: Dave
Harmony Vocals: Sean , Eric, Prudence, Tom
High-strung Guitar: Sean
Bass: Jack
Salvation Army Band arranged by Butch Thompson

4. WHAT’S THE USE 3:11
(Newman-Jones) Leo Feist (BMI)
Thanks to Bill Boyd’s Cowboy Ramblers
Electric Guitar : Dave
Acoustic Guitar: Sean
Fiddle: Razz
Electric Mandolin : Pete

(Seiler-Marcus-Benjamin-Durham) Cherio Music (ASCAP)
Thanks to The Cats and the Fiddle
Lead Vocal: Sean
Backup Vocals: Prudence, Tom
Guitar Intro : Sean
Lead Guitar : Dave

(Peltoniemi-Hull) Flying Fish Music (BMI)
Sorry, Mom
Lead Vocal: Dave
Backup Vocals: Prudence
Scream: Jay
Lead Guitar: Sean

(Peltoniemi-Blackbum) Flying Fish Music (BMI)
Vocal: Sean
Lead Guitar: Dave

(Lange-Daniel) Santley-Joy (ASCAP)
Thanks to Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers
Lead Vocal: Sean
Backup Vocals: Dave, Tom, Eric
Guitar: Dave

(McTell) Peer International (BMI)
Thanks to Blind Willie McTell
Vocal: Dave
Acoustic Guitar: Sean
Electric String Trio: Mike, Dave, Pete

10. ANNIE’S WALTZ 4:53
(Hull) Flying Fish Music (BMI)
Lead Guitar: Dave

11. ROLLIN’ ALONG 3:29
(Smith) M.M. Cole Music (BMI)
Thanks to The Prairie Ramblers
Lead Vocal: Sean
Backup Vocals: Dave, Pete, Molly
Fiddle: Pete
Lead Guitar: Dave

©℗ 1979 Dakota Dave Hull and Sean Blackburn
©℗ 2017 Arabica Productions #CF22

Arabica Records 
1314 NE Adams Street
Minneapolis, MN 55413
[email protected]

Arabica Records
Scroll To Top