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Dale Evans Swan was subjected to music all of his life. He remembers listening to all the songs of the 40s plus the opera on Saturday afternoons as his mother kept the radio on most of the time. He was a teen ager during the 50s and fell in love with all of the rock ‘n roll stars of that early era, but also had a great affinity for jazz. Probably his most valued album was Miles Davis’ “Porgy and Bess.” Having been raised on a dairy farm in the southern tier of New York, Dale was also subject to country music influence and enjoyed the likes of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Hank Williams. Dillon had a great influence on him as he grew into a young man, and had a lot to do with his finally picking up the guitar in his late 20’s. Although Dale had some early classical training and was a member of a number of excellent choral groups, he had set aside his musical ambitions in favor of more practical pursuits, ultimately gaining a Ph.D. in economics from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that he began writing and performing his own compositions in earnest, and he hasn’t stopped for over 50 years. The songs on “Even Yesterday” provide a small sample of Dale’s lifetime repertoire.
Dale watched as his younger daughter, Michelle, became an accomplished singer/songwriter in the D.C. area and probably was a bit jealous that he had never followed that path himself. Things changed when he went to a singer/songwriter’s workshop Wattle Hollow, Arkansas, run by Kelly and Donna Mulhollan and Jack Williams. Dale had met Kelly and Donna when they stayed with him and his wife, Sarah, after putting on a concert for the Down East Folks Arts Society in New Bern, NC where Dale and Sarah had moved in 2010. They wound up pickin’ and singing into the wee hours and Kelly invited Dale to attend the Wattle Hollow workshop. That experience gave Dale the confidence to embark on his first CD, “Even Yesterday” and that effort was made easier by the fact that Kelly produced the album and he and Donna provide instrumental and vocal accompaniment on all the songs. In addition, Dale’s daughter, Michelle provides vocal harmony on two of the tracks on that album.
Dale’s songs are largely personal, taken from his own varied experiences and his observations of other folks’ pains, joys and sorrows. His music is eclectic. Some fits into the traditional “folk” genre; some is more blues in nature; some is rather “country”; and some simply defies any neat categorization. But it is all from the heart and deals with issues that are or have been of grave concern to Dale over his lifetime.
“Even Yesterday” was produced and recorded by Kelly Mullhollan (Termite Tracs) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and was mastered by Gary Gordon at Inside Out Studio, in Sparta Illinois.