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November 22, 2009


Danny Holien – Danny Holien (1972)

Artist: Danny Holien
Title: Danny Holien
Year: 1972
Format: LP
Label: Tumbleweed

Danny Holien grew up in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. He came west to Colorado and wrote songs that inspired Denver’s Tumbleweed Records to produce this,his self-titled LP in 1972.

As Holien recalls: “A friend of mine had moved out to Colorado. He said there
was all kinds of work, so we moved to the ghetto and starved for quite awhile. We played some ski resorts, but it wasn’t the big hot-shot clubs, it was on the edge. The whole band lived in a house together.”

That friend was Steve Swenson who played bass on the album and also was a session musician along with Holien and Robb Kunkel on other Tumbleweed releases including Dewey Terry’s “Chief” in 1972. Swenson would eventually change his name to Dusty Drapes and along with Don Debacker and Dan McCorson form Dusty Drapes And The Dusters.

Tumbleweed Records was a small independent label owned by Bill Szymczyk
who had success producing Blues legend B.B. King, and signing and producing
The James Gang. This is a very well crafted LP that although falls in the rural rock category, has elements of eastern psych,(“Satsanga”) jazz,(“Red Wing”) rock, (“Wella Wella Isabella”)blues,(“Labor Man”)and of course,the C,S & N inspired “Colorado”. (Prairie Prince Minsky)

Track Listing

  1. Colorado
  2. Wella Wella Isabella
  3. Red Wing
  4. Hick
  5. Strange One
  6. Satsanga
  7. Labor Man
  8. Song Of Thanksgiving
  9. Home
  10. Lino The Wino
Read more from Rock Rural Country
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Peter Mork
    Jun 22 2010

    There’s something sinister going on here. “Colorado” has nothing in the words that communicate social decay, but that tune is grim. “Strange One” gets big orchestration; “Satsanga” is some sort of Hindoo holy man concept, never mind – it works like a happy pill. “Labor Man”‘s the sort of thing I would normally hate, ie. self-aware country lifestyle flogging, if it weren’t in fact good. “Home” is melancholy, sort of the flip side to “She’s Leaving Home”: I am tired, I have been fired – good gravy! “Lino the Wino”, portrait of a stew-bum with a grizzled electric sax (does anyone still play one?) and, surprise, another song stuck into the end chorus. Nifty.

  2. Hilton Harris
    May 4 2012

    Back in the early ’70’s I heard the song Colorado on the radio a time or two. I loved it. Being a 14 year old poor kid from a single mom household I never tried to find a copy I could purchase. Twenty two years later when I got a computer and found out about Napster I managed to find a copy. I could only remember that the name of the song was “Colorado”, so after downloading about 50 other songs named “Colorado” I finally found it. Thanks for creating it!

  3. Aug 11 2013

    Listened to this song on kkfm back in the day when Heavy was dj’n. Have never forgotten it, and listening to it again. Just a wonderful amazing feeling , words actually can’t even describe it , but songs like this and the bands out of that era impacted my life dramatically, I knew that music would always be an important part of my life, and it truly has been.Thank you so much Danny and all musicians for sharing your music with us..

  4. Sep 13 2014

    Back in 1972 I couldn’t stand the song, when I was 12. It never made it to our top 40, tho I did see it got to # 80 something on Billboard Hot 100. In 1989 I found the LP and bought it from a local record collector. A few years ago I found the promo 45 mono edited version and stereo long version on eBay. Can’t say I hate it now. There’s too much junk played on radio today, even if it’s oldies. I still remembered how the song went even tho it was 17 years until I found the LP. A great memory for me.

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