Dale Nikkel

Dale Nikkel


Well-crafted lyrics, sweet melodies, gorgeous acoustic guitar, great production...


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.


Lord, is it the Beer?

Written By: Dale Nikkel

Lord is it the Beer or are these real tears I’m crying, while praying to you?
Lord, is it the Beer or is your presence near?
'Cause I’m crying, and I’m thinking it’s you

I’ve got a Gideon Bible, and I’m praying for revival here in this old motel six
Gotta a head full of questions and a heart that’s confessing
Won’t you tell me what’s lies and what’s tricks

Lord, am I just tired or is this your holy fire I’m feeling, while praying to you?
Lord, is it my mind or the sweet by and by?
Cause I’m crying, and I’m thinking it’s you

I’ve gotta a bitter-sweet mistress I’ve tried to make peace with
Somehow she never lets go
And I’ve run out of answers and fear like a cancer
is working it’s way through my soul

Big World, Small Boy

Written By: Dale Nikkel

Waking up, you’re Joe Dimagio
Running around second base
A minute later you’re riding on a rocket ship
Flying into outerspace
Just a boy, wide eyed to the world
And I can barely keep up
One second you’re flying to the moon
Then next you’re in a fire truck

Big world, small boy
Anything you dream
Big world, small boy

Not long your attention shifts
To a pile of mud in the yard
And soon you’re sailing on the old Mirabella
Fighting off pirates and sharks
But all the mud makes you think of diggers
Soon it’s a construction site
And you’re the foreman, making sure
that the dumptruck’s dumping right

Boy, I pray
You’ll never stop dreaming
Up new ways to live
And boy, I pray
That as you grow
You’ll find the job you need
Where you can use your imagination
and find the perfect occupation

Night time and now you’re a farmer
Putting everybody to sleep
All the animals are laying on your pillow
Horses, cows and sheep
A few songs and a story book
And your little eyes they close
Now you’ll dream of a new adventure
And tomorrow will be the show

Listen to the Voices

Written By: Dale Nikkel

Somewhere in New York City,
in a boardroom meeting
they’re dreaming up a life for me
And once they make their plan
They’ll roll it out across the land
In every TV show and magazine

I sit at home in my small town
Those big ideas they’ve filtered down
They're selling me the man that I should be
But those voices only bring me down,
Just poison to my heart I’ve found
I’m tryna tune my ear to a different sound

And listen to the voices that speak life

It’s hard to take a stand
Against the advertising man
The life he promises it looks so grand
He’s gotta voice as smoothe as honey
But all he really wants is money
Then he'll leave you hanging out to dry

Take the high road,
And listen to the voices that’ll help you grow
You’ll find hope
drowns out the noise of all those empty ghosts

Daughter, son, listen please
The life they’re selling you and me;
it's a shiney apple, rotten deep beneath
Cause you’re wonderful the way we are, the simple life will take you far
Let wisdom always be your guard


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

Set List

Dale's songs cover the spectrum of themes ranging from the serious to the hilarious. Generously sprinkled with candid stories and background tales, his live show is fresh every time.