Calgary International Blues Festival (2017)
Dale Spalding grew up in Downey, California, in a family of four children. As a teenager, he became interested in harmonica after a friend got him listening to an album by Paul Butterfield. He also started playing the guitar. He is fascinated by rhythm and blues from New Orleans, Big Band Swing and British Invasion. He is also interested in blues legends like Muddy Waters, BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, James Cotton, Jr. Wells, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Taj Mahal and George "Harmonica" Smith. Spalding also followed several renowned musicians playing in Los Angeles, such as The Ashgrove and The Golden Bear.
In 1969, Spalding moved to San Francisco, where he played in clubs and studied harmonica with bluesman Sonny Terry. Sonny Terry introduced Spalding to his friends, among them Brownie McGhee, Willie Dixon, Johnny Shines, Lafayette Leake and Big Walter "Shakey" Horton.
Spalding later formed a duet with Duke Burrell, the pianist of Louis Jordan. Duke discovers Spalding's talent as a vocalist and encouraged him to sing more. The duet played together during ten years, during which Duke taught him a variety of jazz classics and ballads.
After the death of Duke Burrell in early nineties, Spalding went back to Los Angeles, where he formed The Dale Spalding Band with bassist Tom Gargano, his long-time friend. The Dale Spalding Band regularly performs in Los Angeles and has played with various musicians, such as drummer James Gadson, saxophonist Lon Price and pianist Bruce "Funky Mal" Malament.
In 2000, Mexican Conguero Poncho Sanchez discovered The Dale Spalding Band. Spalding and Sanchez became friends and started working together. Spalding toured several times with Sanchez in US and Europe. He also worked with Poncho Sanchez on Latin Spirits and played the harmonica on 2003 Ray Charles recording of MaryAnn.
In 2005, Spalding moved to New Orleans, where some of his major influences are from. He soon started working with roots rock band The Iguanas and with several local musicians. Hurricane Katrina forced him to move once more, this time to Austin, Texas, where he is still living and performing solo and playing with Little Elmore Reed's band.
In 2007, his career took a new turn when he met Canned Heat drummer Fito de la Parra. After performing several times together, Fito invited him to join Canned Heat, with whom he continues to tour all over the world. In 2015, he released a live album with the band, Songs from the Road. Spalding is still performing solo and regularly plays with Poncho Sanchez.
Dale Spalding has also played and/or recorded with Dave Alvin, James Cotton, Marcia Ball, Ruthie Foster, Papa Mali, Otis Rush, Pinetop Perkins and Redd Volkaert.