Heather Dale
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""The Road to Santiago" review (Canada)"

Toronto singer/songwriter Heather Dale possesses a pure, powerful and intense soprano, perfectly suited to the exaggerated Celtic romance for which she is known. With Canadian folk veteran Paul Mills at the helm, Dale is more focused and involved on this new effort, a collection of Celtic-flavoured songs that manage to spread themselves over a large musical pallette - embracing jazz, art song, shanties, Spanish/North African rhythms and modal melodies, medieval court music and contemporary pop balladry - without losing the essential richness and character of a unique artist too often compared unreasonably to Loreena McKennitt. Ably assisted by fiddler Anne Lindsay, bassist David Woodhead, drummer Al Cross and guitarist Jason Fowler - a particularly skilled and practised ensemble - and other primo folk/jazz/world-music session veterans, Dale soars on this recording, an unabashed and uninhibited romantic who has found her voice and her musical wings. - Greg Quill, Toronto Star


"K-W Record (Canada)"

Although steeped in Celtic culture, Dale's approach to the music is contemporary… there's nothing faint or wispy about this Celtic folk diva. - Robert Reid


"WDVR 91.9 FM (USA)"

Heather's songs express something that honors tradition, but in keeping with the best of traditions they break new ground. - Walt Haake, Host


"Cornish World Magazine (UK)"

Heather Dale is an animated, warm and intriguingly inventive writer...Her CDs are excellently arranged and recorded; her voice is rich and engaging; her music is contemporary, melodic and evocative. - Bert Biscoe


"The Arthurian Encyclopedia (academic journal)"

Heather Dale is a gifted musical interpreter of the legends of King Arthur and his world. Her New Celtic music, flavored with jazz and other idioms, offers extraordinary variety and subtlety, and her singing voice is, quite simply, gorgeous. Medevalists and Arthurian enthusiasts will appreciate her respect for the legends, and every listener will want to hear these fascinating songs over and over. - Norris Lacy, Editor


""May Queen" review (USA)"

Her voice, rich and expressive, is a magnificent instrument made for storytelling and evoking emotion. "May Queen" is a powerful statement from an artist whose talent never fails to amaze me. - Duke Egbert, DailyVault.com


"The Waterboys (UK)"

Great lyrics, melodies, arrangements, moods....the album took me to a mythic place. - Mike Scott, lead singer


"Vancouver Sun (Canada)"

I took more than 100 pages of notes during Mythic Journeys [Conference in Atlanta, GA], but a few things stand out as especially memorable. ... The concert by Toronto singer/songwriter Heather Dale, who is building a successful independent career with music and motifs drawn from the Arthurian myths, was a highlight. Her music is powerful stuff, reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan but with a depth and resonance rooted in its mythic sources. - Robert J. Wiersema


"CFMU 93.9 FM (Canada)"

Heather could very well be the heir apparent to many of today's top folk/Celtic stars. - Jim Marino, Host


Discography

Albums released:

The Road to Santiago (2005, Amphis/Festival) - a cosmopolitan album of modern folk songs, which blends of Heather's own Celtic background with other traditional influences from around the world. Influences include New-World Celtic, Irish, Spanish, Caribbean, Greek, and even Canadian Inuit.

May Queen (2003, Amphis/Festival) - original modern songs inspired by the ancient King Arthur legends. Rich and evocative mix of folk-pop, rock, jazz, and haunting Celtic ballads.

This Endris Night (2002, Amphis) - arrangements of Medieval and Renaissance holiday songs. A lively and innovative acoustic album.

Call The Names (2001, Amphis) - original folk songs inspired by Renaissance life. A fun mix of humour, inspiring anthems, and catchy sing-a-longs.

The Trial of Lancelot (2000, Amphis) - original modern songs inspired by the King Arthur legends. A mix of mesmerizing Celtic ballads, folk-pop and bluesy rock.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

-- Heather Dale: modern folk songs with Celtic roots --

Heather Dale offers a new type of Celtic music for the 21st century: a playful, passionate and fearless blend of tradition and innovation.

Cheerfully discarding the stereotypical limits for both folk singer-songwriters and Celtic balladeers, she fuses traditional stories with a healthy mix of Celtic folk, blues, jazz and world music influences. "Although steeped in Celtic culture, Dale's approach to the music is contemporary¬Ö there's nothing faint or wispy about this Celtic folk diva." (K-W Record)

Particularly known for her interpretations of ancient legends, she excels at finding modern themes within old (and often overlooked) material. Heather's rich voice and evocative recordings continue to earn her fans around the world. "Her music is powerful stuff, reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan but with a depth and resonance rooted in its mythic sources." (Vancouver Sun)

Heather plays a wide array of folk and classical instruments, including piano, bodhran drum, mountain & hammered dulcimers, alto recorder, bowed psaltery and tin whistle. Her first solo concert came in 1997; she now tours with fellow multi-instrumentalist Ben Deschamps (guitar, double bass, Irish flute, percussion). As fully independent artists, Heather and Ben are strong supporters of independent music within Canada and abroad.

Heather and Ben are also seasoned road-warriors, and spend much of their time travelling to visit new audiences; in 2005 alone, they completed over 38,000 km (24,000 miles) of touring. Their recent performance schedule took them across the breadth of Canada, with concerts in all ten provinces; they also tour regularly in the UK, along with special performances in the USA and Europe. Whether in a local pub or on a festival stage, Heather always connects with her audience -- sharing her songs with infectious energy and flair. "Heather Dale is a positive, vibrant singer... and audiences really resonate with her voice and enthusiasm," affirms GreenManReview.com.

Born and raised in Toronto, Heather discovered an early passion for legends. She became fascinated by Celtic mythology, European folktales, King Arthur stories and Native American legends... which led her first into fairy tales and fantasy books, and later into medieval literature. But rather than following an academic path in either music or history, Heather chose to indulge her third love: social & environmental activism.

While pursuing environmental studies at the University of Waterloo, Heather began singing at the local student centre and for history clubs in the area. "There were no microphones, no fancy stages," Heather recalls. "I quickly learned to interpret a song without any safety net." These early successes emboldened Heather's later career shift into professional music. Heather still loves to promote historical and environmental education by speaking at schools, universities and literary conventions.

Heather doesn't shy away from exploring non-Celtic influences in her music. She credits this approach to her upbringing in multi-cultural Canada: "I grew up in an environment which not only had British, French and Native history, but it also gave me a first-hand appreciation of Asian, African, European, and South American cultures," Heather says. This musical blending of her own Celtic background with other traditional influences is readily apparent on her new CD "The Road to Santiago" (2005, Amphis/Festival).

A cosmopolitan album of modern folk songs, Heather co-produced her 5th solo CD with folk veteran Paul Mills (Stan Rogers, Tanglefoot). It features Heather at her adventurous best -- with songs that celebrate honest love and the personal search for meaning, as well as delivering cunning commentary on self-image, sexual tensions, and civil disobedience. With strong vocal performances and tight songwriting, Heather's songs draw their inspiration from many diverse cultures, including New-World Celtic, Irish, Spanish, Caribbean, Greek, and even Canadian Inuit. "Heather Dale soars on this recording, an unabashed and uninhibited romantic who has found her voice and her musical wings." (Toronto Star)

"The Road to Santiago" joins Heather Dale's previous recordings: "May Queen" (2003), "This Endris Night" (2002), "Call The Names" (2001) and "The Trial of Lancelot" (2000), all released on her independent Amphis Music label.

Heather Dale continues to chart new territory in her musical explorations and travels. "Heather's songs express something that honors tradition, but in keeping with the best of traditions they break new ground," asserts Walt Haake (WDVR 91.9 FM).

Sound clips and further information are available at HeatherDale.com.