CD Review – Nathan Dale’s “Major Keys Parade”
Nathan Dale is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Sacramento. Some locals may remember Dale as the founding member of Sweet Vine back in the 90′s. The band went on to sign with Columbia Records, recording their self-titled CD at the famed Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York. The band toured nationwide before separating in the late 1990′s.
Dale currently tours with The Jackie Greene Band and has recently release his own CD Major Keys Parade. After listening to his new CD, it became quite obvious that Dale is an extremely diverse musician. The CD has a little something for everyone including a little rock, folk, and even a tad bit of an Hawaiian sound.
The CD starts off with “Him” a brief instrumental with the sound of an old style film projector being turned on. As it happens, the last song, appropriately named “The End,” is another brief instrumental which winds down with the sound of the same old style film coming off the reel and being shut off. Nice touch.
As you get into the meat of the CD with “Ten Tiny Fingers ,” you feel like you just walked under the big top. Sounding more like a circus waltz, this song might have been better off being played on a calliope rather than a piano. I didn’t care for the circus beat, but about half way through it faded into the background. And what’s up with the ten tiny fingers? I’d prefer to think of them as ten very large and impressive fingers, and yes, I only have 8 large fingers and a couple of thumbs ““ sorry my lame attempt at humor.
Next was “Major Keys Parade,” which has an awesome driving beat with some equally awesome guitar riffs, couple that with some great background vocals playing off of Dale’s chorus, and you have one pumped up song that is deserving of the title slot.
“My Wonder Girl” is a great tune that really brings home the folk rock, weaving a tale of a young boy in love with a young girl followed by “Oh Messiah,” both great folk style tunes.
The CD takes a turn to the darker side with “One Bad Day,” followed by an even darker tune, “Way Down.” “Way down” has some really awesome guitar riffs bringing out the hard-rock side of Dale. This song reminds me a lot of some of Alice Cooper’s work . . . yes it’s that dark – exquisitely so.
“With the Sea,” is an Hawaiian style tune that really rounds out the CD, showing just how diverse of a sound Dale has.
Using his music as his canvas, Dale paints his heart and soul into everything he writes, each song painting a story for all to hear. His latest CD is worth a listen. It’s a great album with some very diverse songs, leaving you wondering what other sounds Dale might have up his sleeve. I guess we’ll have to wait for his next CD to find out.
You can find out more about Dale’s latest projects at http://www.nathandale.com
Catch Nathan Dale at Naked Coffee in Sacramento on January 4th at 8:30. They are located at 1111 H Street.