Dale Nikkel
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Dale Nikkel

Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Passages Review"

I am new to Dale Nikkel and pleased to have had the good fortune to
review this finely crafted album of acoustic, country and folky pop

From a living room fireside observational to a hospital bedside prayer,
Nikkels songs artfully tether his shifting and uncertain place in the
world to the anchor of his newly growing family.

The opening track ‘These Are The Glory Days’ genuinely reminds us that
nothing can be taken for granted with just his guitar and Dale’s high
gentle timbre voice. Introductions now over we move into acoustic
country territory with “Heathrow” being an enjoyable muse on how
airports and hearts have more in common than we care to admit. This is
a catchy song reminiscent of west coast pop folkster Garry Jules.

Acoustic pop is the next destination with the ironic but not too
earnest “Worry Is My Way Of Loving You”. Here the band finds it’s
stride with the Hammond organ bedding down nicely.
Just when I thought the sound of the album was pegged Dale surprises me
with a country breeze with tremolo guitar and a canine monologue that
reminisces on the late family favourite Moppy in ‘Everybody Knows How
to Pet A Dog’. An honest message resolving to the wisdom that it’s
sometimes easier to communicate warmth to ‘mans best friend’ than those
dearest to us.

As in life, the left of field catches me with Dale’s hospital bedside
prayer ‘Closer To the Flame’ leaving the listener to wonder if the song
is inspired by an anxious maternity ward wait or something much darker,
either way, we are reminded of our own times when a candle and a prayer
were all we might have had to illuminate the way.

The weather, like childbirth is an unpredictable business with ‘Any
Day’ being a straight up fun country pop song that demands an April
frozen Saskatchewans “waters to break” so that “I can see my baby” in
time for summer, Dale is having fun at no ones expense here.

The record now takes a sombre turn with a dedication to a lost friend
who’s mental illness leaves too many in it’s tragic wake. This pause
for thought is cushioned with the following guitar and dobro
instrumental ‘Westminster Morning’, an elegant and simple duet.
‘Here We Go Again’ makes moving house a cause for a song with a skip
and how a galloping heart has to run it’s course.

Track 10 is my favourite on the record with ‘Silver And Gold’ mining
the elusive treasures of the heart and how the material distortions of
life can obscure our own star of providence. I was half expecting the
yearning voice of EmmyLou Harris to join in the second chorus as the
albums production drifts towards a sensibility akin to the aesthetic of
Daniel Lanois. This sonic prediction is fully realised in the breathy
and atmospheric closing prayer ’Listen Close’.

This album is all heart without any cheese or self absorbed filler and
who’s stellar production is maintained throughout even though the album
was recorded and mixed in more than a couple of far flung studios
across Canada.

Passages is about as good as any independent singer songwriter album
can get.

- Penguin Eggs Magazine (Dave MacDonald , The Waifs)

"Still Learning Tricks Review"

"… a new standard for prairie folk-pop…Dale Nikkel has mastered his
craft." - David Ward, CKUA Radio

"Still Learning Tricks Review"

“…a folk pop treasure…James Taylor fans will swoon” - Saskatoon Star Phoenix

"Still Learning Tricks Review"

“Refreshing…One more reason to miss the age of vinyl” - Penguin Eggs Magazine

"Still Learning Tricks Review"

"Loaded with natural talent…a slice of Canadiana” - Stylus Magazine Winnipeg

"Still Learning Tricks Review"

- The Edmonton Journal


2009 - Dale Nikkel - Second hand
2006 - Dale Nikkel - Passages
2004 - Dale Nikkel - (Live) Class Clowns & Breakdowns
2002 - Dale Nikkel - Still Learning Tricks
1999 - Dale Nikkel - Self-Titled



Raised in Winnipeg, now living just outside of Toronto in Kitchener, Dale’s been writing well-crafted songs for almost 20 years drawing comparisons to James Taylor, Mark Erelli, and Paul Simon. His songs are compelling musical portraits inspired by his own experiences.

A father of two, a simple-living advocate, a former school-teacher, a minister’s son, a devoted husband, a coffee-shop philosopher, a copy writer in the ad world, a prairie boy living in fast-paced southern Ontario – Dale writes about what he observes, covering themes of love, work, faith and politics. And as Canada’s premiere folk magazine described, his writing is: “...all heart without any cheese.” (Penguin Eggs)

A gifted storyteller, as well as a performer, Dale’s performed at major folk festivals, including Canada’s biggest – the Edmonton Folk Festival, and garnered official showcases at major music industry events including Toronto’s prestigious NXNE. Dale’s shared concert billings with some of the world’s best songwriters including The Wailin’ Jennys, Welsh songwriting legend Pete Morton, Canadian folk hero Garnett Rogers, Juno-award winning Nathan and Murray McLaughlin to name just a few. In addition to concert billings, Dale’s shared folk festival workshop stages with the likes of Grammy-nominated songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, Dan Bern, Canadian troubadour Stephen Fearing, and American folk legend David Wilcox among others.

Dale’s songs have been featured on radio stations from coast to coast, including CBC’s Sounds Like Canada and The Vinyl Café. His music has garnered 3 Prairie Music Award nominations, and acclaim through numerous songwriting contests including the UK Songwriting Contest where he was named a finalist in the Folk category. The 2009 release of Second Hand is Dale’s 4th studio recording, a stunning follow-up to Dale’s 2006 release of Passages that garnered praise as a “...a must have” by Performing Songwriter, and “...a folk fanatic’s dream” by AcousticMusic.com. Second Hand is a gem of a recording featuring 11 songwriting masterpieces produced by longtime collaborator Steve Abma and musical guests including True North Records’ Joel Kroeker.