|Photo by Dan Jaeger|
Past Press and Articles
"Still Learning Tricks - Buy this CD. Dale Nikkel is an
artist who deserves your 20 bucks for writing such smart songs. The music is
soft, quite, gentle and easy to listen to. Good musicianship. The
lyrics are catchy, witty and insightful. Much more engaging than most of the
new breed of quiet sensitive singer songwriters like Damien Jurado, etc. I put
him in a league with Mark Erelli for heartfelt, well crafted
lyrics. Enjoy! If you get a chance to see him live, do it. He is an
entertainer as much as a singer songwriter. Smart."
" I remember hearing Gordon Lightfoot for the first time and
thinking, wow, this guy is something special. There was a warmth
there missing in many of the standard folk artists' songs and it
reached through the speakers and made a connection. So it is with
Dale Nikkel, and before you go blogging your head off, understand
that I am not comparing Nikkel to Lightfoot musically, they live in
different musical realms, on the whole, but they do both project a
common sense of humanity. You can hear it in their voices, you can
hear it in their music. So let me say this simply: Dale Nikkel the
musician is something special....this CD is a folk fanatic's dream.
You can quote me."
The easy cadence of Paul Simon colors the voice of Canada's Dale Nikkel on
his latest release, Passages. Lyrics vary from brand-new families ("These
Are the Glory Days") to backpacking adventures ("Heathrow") to
relationships both good ("Any Day") and bad ("Worrying's My Way of Loving
You"). Jangly acoustic guitars provide the sonic foundation while electric
lines and soulful organ add subtle melodic touches.
The whole album is terrific, but if we had to pick a favorite, it would be
"Everybody Knows How to Pet a Dog". Nikkel's half-spoken lyrics about his
dog Moppy morph into a look at his own life: "I wish I could run that
fast, I wish I could jump that high / If I was only that forgiving I
wouldnt be asking why". Contemporary folk fans, this ones a must-have.
"Peripatetic Prairies-born and raised troubadour, teacher, freelance
writer and raconteur Nikkel lives these days in Kitchener, Ont., but
the work on Passages is informed by a life out west and up north, by
bigger spaces, bigger times and bigger hearts from a well-remembered
past. An engagingly personal performer whose pop-hooked story songs
benefit from cleverly laid out acoustic guitar, keyboards and rhythm
section arrangements, Nikkel sounds on this recording as if he's
singing in your ear in a small and comfortable room. Strong melodies
and an affirming world view draw the listener toward a voice that is
pleasant, strong and, even on the handful of up-tempo tunes, never
"...This album is all heart without any cheese or self absorbed filler and
who's stellar production is maintained throughout...Passages is about as
good as any independent singer songwriter album can get."
"...Nikkel bares his soul and pins his heart on his sleeve and does so
while dispensing insights, emotions and captivating images in streams of
"...Dale Nikkel has a special gift for lyrics that can raise the hairs on
your neck. Check opening cut These Are the Glory Days for an example.
Worrying's My Way of Loving You is another example as Nikkel uses a nice
falsetto to add delicacy to words..."
"Right from the first track, Dale Nikkel's warm vocals and tasteful guitar
work blend superbly with honest, personable lyrics which resonate
universal themes of the human condition. With memorable chorus lines and
an excellent complement of players, Passages is a recording which will
reach across generations of listeners."
"a folk pop treasure ... James Taylor fans will swoon"
"...a true voice of the prairies."
"...in many ways the walking definition of a 'sensitive singer-songwriter',
but that's a good thing. Nikkel has an ability to speak from the heart."
"Dale Nikkel's Still Learning Tricks is a slice of Canadiana. Tastey and
wholesome, it combines the talent of musicians, visual artists, friends,
family, and prairie dwellers alike."
"Dale Nikkel's CD, "Still Learning Tricks", has set a new standard for
prairie folk-pop. The songwriting is mature and insightful, the
production is sophisticated, subtle, and supportive of the song, and the
packaging is a wonderful fusion of art and poetry. There is a quiet
attention to detail in all aspects of this project that clearly indicates
to me that Dale Nikkel has mastered his craft."
"Picture half-frozen strangers huddling around a bus stop, a senior
sitting alone on a park bench, or a lover's embrace. All these scenes
come alive in Dale Nikkel's captivating CD Still Learning Tricks."
"Loaded with natural talent"
"a sweet record"
"A naturally gifted songwriter and storyteller"
"Refreshing... One more reason to miss the age of vinyl"
"much too young to be writing songs with that wisdom"
Live at the Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton...
Connect with Dale on the web...