While I’m on the cool-down walk after my morning run, a flock of Canada geese passes overhead, flying south. Light from the rising sun hits my face as I emerge from the shadow of a line of trees. I watch the geese in wonder as they pass and Dale Nikkel sings quietly in my ear,
Take the time
You need this time
And I will wait for you.
Had a great night at the Lanoie’s celebrating Linea‘s birthday. Happy birthday, Linea!
And part of that birthday was a Dale Nikkel house concert. Originally the house concert was planned for our house, but several weeks ago, Linea’s husband, Leo, came up to me after church and told me to save March 14 for Linea’s birthday. And I said that I was going to tell him the same thing for this house concert. <sing-songy voice> Cooooonfliiiiiiict!</song-songy voice> The problem was that the people that would most likely be attending Linea’s birthday party were also the bulk of the people I was planning on inviting to the house concert.
I toyed with rescheduling–another day, earlier on the same day, cancelling–until Leo emailed me and suggested that we have the concert later on in the evening at their house. Brilliant! (And Linea has already said that it was the best birthday party she’s ever had.)
Dale was incredibly kind and understanding in this whole process. I apologized to him for having so few friends that I couldn’t gather up enough people from outside our church group to make the house concert work (he was looking for about 30 people), and he said not to worry: he’s played all kinds of shows for all kinds of people, including to a couple of stranded truckers (ah, the struggling artist!).
Anyway, the concert was a hit. Dale and his friend Kimbal Siebert were fantastic. Everybody had a great time.
I would definitely have a Dale Nikkel house concert again, any time. And if you have a chance to go to a Dale Nikkel concert, do it. You will not regret it.
Also: buy his new CD. It’s available on iTunes (or will be shortly). Better yet, order a hard copy through his website, because he’ll get a better cut of the purchase. I haven’t had much chance to listen to the CD (I only bought it last night), but I daresay it’s his best yet (although, to be fair, I haven’t given his previous CD a fair shake yet–I didn’t buy it that long ago).
Several people have asked how I know Dale. I know him through his brother, Chris. Chris and I were tree planting partners for two or three seasons–somehow our foreman Kyle saw us as a perfect match in terms of personality, etc. We became friends (and we were good planting partners). Chris is a poet, published and all. I haven’t seen Chris in nearly a decade–he has split his time between Canada and Ireland–but we send annual, sometimes semi-annual email updates. Somehow we’ve managed to click even after all these years.
All that to say…I met Dale once when we stopped at their Edmonton home on our way to Prince George for another tree planting season. Then I met him at one of his concerts in Saskatoon several years ago. Later on he called me up about doing a house concert, which fell through. This one almost did, too. The Nikkels–at least, the two I’ve met (oh, and a cousin)–are fine, soft-spoken folk.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we would be having a house concert this coming Saturday (March 14, which I had mistakenly said was the 15th). There is still a house concert, but plans have changed slightly. The concert will no longer be at our house (it will be at someone else’s), but you are still welcome to come if you’re interested.
Dale Nikkel is an award-winning folk singer/songwriter and storyteller, family man, former-teacher-turned-student out of Winnipeg (though I don’t think he lives there right now). Check out his website for more information about Dale and for free mp3s and samples of his music. Also, go to YouTube for some videos of live performances.
Dale is the brother of a friend of mine from my tree planting days. Dixie and I saw Dale in concert in Saskatoon several years ago and we loved the concert. We had also seen Bruce Cockburn in concert several weeks prior and in an email to Dale’s brother I remarked that Dale’s concert was as good as Bruce’s–probably even better because it was in a more intimate setting.
His songs are introspective, other times funny. He’s a great story teller–a Dale Nikkel concert experience is not unlike a Steve Bell concert: a healthy mix of song and story.
I’m not a great promoter. Don’t hire me as your PR guy.
Here are some blurbs I nicked from his website:
“An engagingly personal performer…” – The Toronto Star
“Captivating images in streams of poetic beauty” – The Edmonton Journal
“Lyrics that can raise the hairs on your neck.” – Uptown Magazine, Winnipeg
“The easy cadence of Paul Simon colors the voice of Canada’s Dale Nikkel…” – Performing Songwriter
All true. Seriously: Dale Nikkel is an excellent singer/songwriter. If you ever have a chance to see him in concert, go.
The concert will be at about 8:00 this Saturday. Contact me if you’re interested. I’m not posting details here because it’s a house concert, so space will be limited and I don’t want a horde of unexpected people showing up at the door. Dale is touring to promote his new album, Second Hand. There is no charge for the concert, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person to cover some of his costs. His concert will be more than worth that price.
You can contact me about it by clicking “Email Me” above or emailing me at theeagleandchild AT gmail DOT com (please make the subject “Dale Nikkel” to make absolutely sure it doesn’t get picked up by my spam filter).
In the meantime, here are a couple of YouTube clips:
Dale and his friend Kimbal Siebert (who will apparently be joining Dale for the concert) performing “Closer to the Flame”:
And here is Dale doing a duet of his song “Silver and Gold” with Samantha Schultz:
Hope to hear from you (certain Prince Albert people who will be attending a certain birthday party in town on Saturday need not worry. The concert will follow some of the birthday festivities. Stick around.)
And just like that a week passed. It seems like just yesterday that I posted my last post. A quick update for those of you who thirst for more The Eagle & Child.
1. Trip to Chicago was good (I’ve been home for a week now). I’ve posted some of the photographs from that trip here. I’ve included some commentary on some of the pictures, rather than posting the commentary here. Hopefully more reminiscences will follow.
2. Things at the church are going well, I think. I like what I do and it seems to fit. Trying to figure out what’s next. Likely seminary, but not quite sure where.
3. Things are very busy. Or at least they seem busy. I had a crisis day on Wednesday last week, feeling quite panicked about everything that needs to be done to complete my seminary course. That day I received a friendly reminder from the seminary that am at the halfway point to completion and that they trust that I have been working dilligently. Well. December was a write-off and January disppeared. February is almost over already and it just began. Bleh. I shall overcome.
4. Because of #3 I need to streamline. I’d like to blog more, but I can’t justify or afford the time. That’s why it has been so quiet around here and will likely continue to be. When I do have time, I usually end up watching TV or reading (non-seminary material).
5. There are a lot of things beginning to converge now and into the next couple of months with reach peak convergence: course-work, church-work, work-work, family, house, applications, decisions. Prayer would be much appreciated (and much needed).
6. Keep your eyes peeled for further details about the house concert we will be having in March. The award-winning singer-songwriter Dale Nikkel will be rolling into town and into our living room. Some of you who we think will probably be interested will get an email. Those of you who read this space who might be interested can contact Dixie or I. We will need to know approximately how many people are coming, because we have limited space. In fact, mark March 15 on your calendar and don’t plan anything for that day. Sit tight.