Dale Nikkel is a restless soul. The proof is in his songs. But more telling might be the stack of Uhaul truck rental receipts on his desk. Stops along the way have included Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and most recently Southern Ontario. Dale has shared festival workshop stages with some of North America's greatest songwriters including Eliza Gilkyson, Stephen Fearing, Dan Bern and American folk icon David Wilcox. Dale has also shared concert billings with some of Canada's finest songwriters including Murray McLaughlan, Garnet Rogers, Tom Wilson and The Wailin' Jennys to name only a few. His exciting new CD -- Passages was released in early 2006 and includes guest performances by Joel Kroeker, Murray Pulver (Doc Walker, Crash Test Dummies), Daniel Roy (Nathan) and Gilles Fournier (The Buhr Quartet). Born a preacher's son in the northern Manitoba town of The Pas, Dale watched his father care for the poor while his mother cared for 4 boys in a humble house on the side of town. The family soon headed for Winnipeg, but those northern influences were packed deep in Dale's mind. Dale developed a love for music in his teenage years and soon discovered the profound legacy of the Winnipeg music scene. Like most teenagers surviving a Winnipeg winter, he picked up the guitar and started a band. He fronted several rock and pop bands while attending classes at the University of Winnipeg. At the end of five years, he had a stack of indie recordings and two degrees -- A B.A. in sociology and a B.Ed. In history. A Bruce Cockburn concert inspired Dale to try performing solo and Dale soon took to the prairie coffee-house scene and released his first self-titled CD in 1999; a respectable debut CD that received good reviews. Dale packed the truck and headed for Edmonton the same year and began a stint teaching junior high part-time while he continued to write. In 2002, he recorded his sophomore disc Still Learning Tricks. The innovative CD was a collaborative artistic venture with a Winnipeg artist who painted oil interpretations for each song. A gallery tour followed and the captivating CD garnered widespread acclaim for it's musical and artistic achievement. Described as a 'captivating' (The Edmonton Journal) and 'a new standard for prairie folk-pop' (CKUA Radio Alberta), Still Learning Tricks was nominated for three Prairie Music Awards including SOCAN's Outstanding Songwriter and for Outstanding Roots Recording. Opportunities quickly followed. In addition to sharing concert billings with some of Canada's great folk singers, Dale garnered invites to some of Canada's finest folk festivals was a finalist in the UK Songwriting Contest. Dale moved back to Winnipeg briefly in 2003, before touching down in Ontario in summer 2005. All while putting the finishing touches on the anticipated new record.
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