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Entertainers find joy in singing their melodies

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By Judy Halone-The Courier-Herald

Close your eyes while Bob Dale strums his 12-string Rickenbocker guitar and you just might think you're standing in the same room as George Harrison or Roger McGuinn. Add the accompanying harmony of his wife, Cindy, and you'll get music from the best of both worlds.

Playing in a band isn't anything new to the Lake Tapps couple. During the 1990s they made a name for themselves around Puget Sound with their group, the Marvelles. The group dissolved in 2002 and the couple went back to performing as a duo, Cindy Dale said, but playing in a band became the Dales' passion and they soon looked to expand. “We called a drummer who knew music and hired a bass player who was a buddy for 30 years.”

The new group named themselves the Chymes of Freedom two years ago and since then have made a reputation for themselves by bringing their own signature of music into today's world. Their messages transcend the generations while often confronting timeless topics: “The Deadly Dogs of Birmingham,” is one such song.

“It focuses on what happens in America; there are so many lonely people,” Bob Dale said. “It takes place in the ‘60s during the civil rights movement and represented how dangerous it could be.” He equated that era with what he believed to be today's political climate across the country. “The powers are pushing so far apart, it's almost like there are two Americas. Our music carries deep messages about how our forefathers' blood runs through our veins; a lot of these songs are a reflection of America,” he said.

“We try to be a voice,” Cindy Dale said. “We're not taking a particular (political) side, but those with power and money are trying to push (America) apart. Harmonizing has its own place and teaches us to listen. It can be an outlet to be creative and present it to the people.”

The teaching portion of their music comes easily for both husband and wife. By day, both are educators - Bob Dale teaches third grade at Lakeview Elementary in Auburn and his wife teaches pre-first at Dieringer Heights Elementary in Lake Tapps. Together, the two project their confidence and creativity in day to day life to students, staff and their audiences.

“Music is an expression of having confidence,” Cindy Dale said. “It's fun to see that creativity in Bob, because his dream has always been to have an original band of his own.”

That same creativity plays into the composition of their songs. Cindy views Bob as “putting the song together,” while Bob sees Cindy as “more of an editor,” he said.

The Chymes of Freedom have been highlighted at several venues throughout Washington, including the King County Fair, Puyallup Fair, Moses Lake Amphitheater, Puyallup's Meeker Days, Meeker Mansion, Auburn's Good Old Days and the Orting Pumpkin Festival. They also appear regularly at the Mandolin Cafe in Tacoma. And even with full schedules, neither one complains about the long hours and hard work that goes hand in hand with juggling teaching by day and entertaining on their days off.

“It's kind of nice to know where each other is at 2 a.m.,” Bob Dale joked.

Cindy Dale summarized what it meant to them to pour their hearts and souls into each song, each beat, each measure. “Give what you love in hopes they'll give it back,” she said.

The Dales shared their spirit of giving Saturday night when they performed a benefit concert at the Spar Tavern in Tacoma. Rather than pay a cover charge, concert goers were encouraged to contribute $5 worth of food to be donated to local food banks in time for the holidays.

Judy Halone can be reached at jhalone@courierherald.com.

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