Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Jeff Dale!
Jeff Dale is an award winning songwriter and performer, born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Having played all over the United States, he now reaches international audiences with shows from Belgium to Croatia.
With over 40 years of performing and writing original roots music, Jeff Dale and the South Woodlawners are currently unleashing their newest album Blues Power (2019). This recording radiates his hard-scrabble beginnings on the south side of Chicago, his resiliency through tough times, and his well-earned sense of humor. The album contains guest appearances by a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, jazz and classical musicians, and an inter-generational mash up of blues and rock musicians.
But let’s back it up. Before he could shave, Jeff was exposed to the music and live performances of Hound Dog Taylor, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor and many more practitioners of Chicago blues. “In the neighborhood where I grew up,” says Dale, “if you had your antennas up, you could feel the blues right there.”
Jeff’s blues lineage includes accompanying legendary performers such as Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton and Etta James among others. He has collected tales and advice in his travels through the world of the blues, being in the company of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Willie Dixon, Albert King and Clifton Chenier and more. Jeff also befriended the late David “Honeyboy” Edwards, the last of the original Delta bluesmen, and had the great fortune to accompany him at many venues including the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
After releasing two albums of original material in the ‘80s, (winning a Best New Blues Band award), Jeff reinvented himself in 2009 with The South Woodlawners. The resulting album, Blues From The Southside Of My Soul, was reviewed as “rowdy, loud, naughty-naughty-down-and-bawdy South Side Chicago style blues.” With every album since, Jeff Dale has consistently been delighting his ever-expanding fan base. Blues Room (2011) garnered international rave reviews and radio airplay. One notable track, “Stumblin’” was featured on the hit FX show “Justified.” The album Good Music (2014) followed, and was also released to critical acclaim. In 2016 Jeff produced a DVD/CD combo of the last recorded show by David “Honeyboy” Edwards, titled I’m Gonna Tell You Somethin’ That I Know. The film premiered at the Clarksdale Mississippi Film Festival as well as at the Chicago International Music and Movie Festival. The project won the 2017 Living Blues Best Blues DVD Of The Year Award, All Music Guide’s “Best of 2017,” and was hailed all over the world as a priceless, historical treasure. The Southside Lives (2017) is a back porch blues album of new Jeff Dale originals featuring Handy Award-winning harmonica player (and friend since the third grade) Jeff Stone. The album garnered significant praise in the press and an Independent Blues Award nomination.
Previewing Jeff’s latest album, award winning blues impresario Michael Gliona says: “Blues Power is masterfully crafted. The sound is impeccable. The arrangements are rich, Jeff’s songs are vividly personal with the music reflecting and amplifying the mood of the lyrics. Always musically restless and eager to explore, Jeff Dale is among the truly creative forces in today’s blues scene.”