Born Dale James Turkovics in Flint, Michigan Dale began playing guitar at age 11, showing enough determination that his stepfather got him a brand new Fender Telecaster and a Gibson tweed tube amp at age 12. He started professionally playing wedding receptions, parties, Battle of the Bands, and school dances. Dale James appeared on television at age 13, on a local children’s show. He has won numerous awards at American Guild of Music Competition through the music school he attended at 16. Dale James wrote his first original song at age 12 and has composed music throughout his life since that time.
Dale began playing nightclubs and went on the road after finishing high school, eventually working his way down to Florida and joined the all original band, Latifundia. He formed the Lauderdale Tea Company playing concert halls with such acts as Ted Nugent, Game, Mitch Ryder and the Chambers Brothers.
He began recording and writing jingles for commercials, movie sound tracks and worked as a studio musician. Dale left the music business for a while to raise his son. He later became involved with local club groups playing nightclubs, lounges, hotels etc. such as The Fountain Bleu, The Forge, Seven Seas, Button, Ocean Mist and Checkmate Lounges as well as Hilton, Ramada and Holiday Inn circuits.
Dale began studying midi and other electronic music in the late 80’s and experimented using computers in conjunction with music in the early to mid 90’s. He began assembling his home recording studio, generating rhythm sections via midi sequences and computers adding keyboards, sound modules and percussion instruments along the way.
Currently, Dale is using the Korg Triton Rack for his main sound/rhythm generation with a Kurzweil 2500 as the main keyboard. Cakewalk, Sound Forge, Logic, Pro Tools and various other computer software tools are used to arrange, create and master his recordings.
Dale James has always been a purist when it comes to music, until recently – he didn’t believe in computerized music and felt that it was too generic sounding,that nothing could replace the core instruments in recording and performing – and he still feels that way to a degree. “Sound modules have improved markedly in the past couple of years. I still prefer to use the real instrument when possible, but could never assemble the orchestra that I can generate via computers and midi keyboards. Being able to create the sound of a cello, harp, string. or horn section is a great tool in song writing and recording because you can hear how a part would sound with a french horn or what ever. Instant gratification!“
“Don’t get me wrong – I still prefer the live sound of 3 or 4 horn players – maybe 2 or 3 violins with a cello or bass viola comprising a string section, and an imperfect drummer (is there such a thing as a perfect drummer?), but I don’t miss the egos involved in assembling such an orchestra. And most of the gigs I play, could not afford a 10-12 piece band”.
Lately Dale James has been tinkering with amp modeling hardware to simulate some of the great guitar amplifiers throughout history. “I use a vocal harmonizer when performing as a single”.
“There are more great “toys” in the music profession today than I’ll ever be able to play with – but I’ll do my best not to miss anything”.
“I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy what they do for a living and music is one of the great loves in my life. Even if I never make another cent in music, it will always be a major part of my being. I’ll just have to figure out a way to pay for all the great toys that haven’t been invented yet or have otherwise eluded me”.
Early influences were Rock, Soul and Motown music. Music personalities and people that have influenced Dale James over the years:
Motown – The 4 Tops, Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson
Rock/Blues – Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Elvis, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Elliot Randall, Steve Morse, John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Steve Vai
Jazz – George Benson, Earl Klugh, Al Dimiola, Lee Rittenour, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Larry Carlton
Country – Danny Gatton, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, Brent Mason, Willie Nelson, Marty Robbins, Chet Atkins, Micky Gilley.
Female Artists – Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Shania Twain, Loretta Lynn, Toni Braxton, Ella Fitzgerald, Janis Joplin, Joss Stone, The Judds, Martina McBride, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Rita Coolidge, Gladys Knight, Karen Carpenter, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, Eva Cassidy, Lady Gaga, Joan Jett
Bands – Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, Aerosmith, Tower Of Power, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Ambrosia, Blue Oyster Cult, CCR, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Orleans, Spyro Gyra, Glass Harp, Doobie Brothers, Journey, Dixie Dreggs, Doors, Lynerd Skynerd, Toto
Others – Van Morrison, Dion, BJ Thomas, John Lennon, Donald Fagen, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Michael Buble, Bob Dylan
“I know I’ve left many out but there just isn’t enough space to list all the artists I admire. Truth be told; I like just about any music that is done well with pride by the artist. I leave you now with some of the obscure groups I’ve played in through the years“:
Soul System, Backyard Blues Band, Soul Incorporated, Question Mark & the Mysterians, Hearafter, Lauderdale Tea Company, Latifundia, Spatz Bentley, Wizardry, Slice Of Life, Pearly & the Goodtime Band, Barry Richards Gathering and last but not least; Dale James Band. “I’ve forgotten some. Then again, a few have been quite forgettable.”
“I kept that first Telecaster my step-dad bought me for many years. It had been pretty abused and
beaten up through my time on the road. It actually fell into the Atlantic Ocean one time when I was boarding a yacht I was playing on. I paid a cabin boy ten bucks on the spot to dive in and retrieve it as I was in my tuxedo at the time. I eventually sold the guitar for a couple grand more than it cost new. I have a Dobro (vintage 1929) that I inherited from my stepdad – he played bluegrass and country in his heyday – and was a big influence on me. I use a 76 thin-line Tele with humbuckers and a PRS Custom 24 (Artist Series) for rock and country, a 1996 Signature Stratocaster for blues, funk and soul. An Ovation Adamas (Carbon Fiber top) acoustic/electric and an Alvarez MC90c for the acoustic guitar sounds. For jazz I selected the Fender D’Aquisto for its tone and percussive rhythm sounds as well as an Epiphone Emperor Regent. I own a ’96 G&L Bluesboy, a 2006 Fender Telecaster Deluxe and a Washburn X series which is great for heavier rock and fusion and plays very fast.”