On stage, one date, two performancesWord of mouth prompted the Sheldon Theatre to book the upcoming musical duo known as Dala for a Red Wing concert April 30.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
Word of mouth prompted the Sheldon Theatre to book the upcoming musical duo known as Dala for a Red Wing concert April 30.
Hearing Dala perform at the Midwest Arts Conference last fall in Indianapolis was the clincher.
"We knew we had made the right choice," Sheldon Managing Director Ellen Hutchinson said. Dala - Canadian vocalists Sheila Carabine and Amanda Walther - was among hundreds of musical acts showcased at the conference.
"They're similar to the Wailin' Jennys," Hutchinson said, citing their "tight vocal harmonies" and their talent for creating their own music.
Local audiences love the Wailin' Jennys, who have performed a couple of times at the Sheldon. "They sell out all the time," Hutchinson said. She knew Dala would appeal to the same crowd.
Having well-known folksinger John Gorka on the same concert bill simply added to the appeal.
"Basically," she said, the concert became an opportunity to introduce the new generation of acoustic folk-rock performers along with an established acoustic folk performer who already has a strong following.
Dala and Gorka will perform separate sets, according to Ellen Stanley of Red House Records in St. Paul, "but they might do a song or two together."
The Sheldon concert is one of two on the current tour that features both Dala and Gorka, she added. They also are performing April 29 at the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Carabine and Walther met at band practice while still in high school and quickly became friends. They formed Dala in the summer of 2002 and released their first album, "This Moment Is a Flash," for Big Bold Sun Music in 2005.
After signing a major record deal with Universal Music later that year, they released "Angels and Thieves" and their career was under way. Cross-Canada tours, more releases and popular singles helped them build a following.
Dala continued to attract attention with a Canadian Radio Music Award in 2010 for "Levi Blues" and a Celtic Radio Music Award for "Horses."
"Girls from the North Country" brought them international attention. The PBS program, broadcast across North American in June 2010, featured Dala along with two other Canadian all-girl acts performing covers of songs by artists including Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
Their live album with that title earned them a 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award and was nominated for a 2011 Juno Award at JunoFest, held in March in Toronto, Canada.
Dubbed by the media as "darlings of the Canadian music scene," Walther and Carabine write songs that are catchy and insightful. "Amanda's ethereal soprano voice blends seamlessly with Sheila's velvety alto, creating the lush harmonies that have become their trademark," according to their website, www.dalagirls.com. One reviewer called their songs "beautiful flights of melody and harmony."
The duo's latest album, "Everyone Is Someone," brought them their fifth Canadian Folk Music Award nomination.
Dala tours across North America, appearing at events including the New Orleans Jazz Festival and opening for such venerable performers as Arlo Guthrie and Richie Havens. The current tour will culminate in performances May 31 and June 1 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul.
Who: Dala and John Gorka
When: 7 p.m. April 30
Where: Sheldon Theatre
How much: Adults $25, students $15
More info: 651-388-8700, 800-899-5759, www.sheldontheatre.org