GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - This is a story about a band. And true to form, every band has its own story. And, if you dig a little deeper, this, this is a really a love story.
“The band got together about a year ago, the three of us, doing acoustic shows,” says Drew Lawrence. In its current form, The Dales has five members. The man who can be credited with bringing them all together is Kyle Vanes.
This is his love story.
“We both grew up in Indiana, Heather and I did, but we never met until we moved out to California,” says Kyle.
When Kyle finally met Heather, they loved each other hard, but they had to love each other fast.
“She was diagnosed a couple weeks before her 30th birthday."
Less than a year later, breast cancer took Heather from this earth...but it didn't take all of her.
“She promised that she'd never leave and she promised that she would always help me write,” he says.
It took some time, but Kyle did write.
“It was almost like Heather was talking to me or through me reminding me or anyone that's every lost anyone in a deep way that, yeah, their physical presence is gone and the pain cuts immensely deep but the love is the one thing that will always remain that no one can take away."
What Kyle wrote was a poem...called Still the Love.
He shared that poem with one of his best friends, Drew, who happens to be a multi-platinum songwriter.
"I got back from a run and I checked my phone and I saw this email and I read the poem and I was so inspired I went back into my studio all sweaty and a mess and just sat at the piano and the music and the melodies just poured out,” says Drew.
“For me, it's very meaningful how the band came to be. The tragedy of losing Heather, such a beautiful thing the songs that have come from that Tragedy,” says Blake Paulson, drummer in the band.
The Dales were born.
Just one tiny problem. Drew, Carrie, Preston and Blake are all professional musicians, but Kyle was not. So, over the course of a year, he learned fast, with that same hard passion he had for Heather, how to play the bass guitar.
“I made a promise to her that I would never backslide in life and I would continually grow to try to become a better person,” says Kyle.
The Dales, just released their first album, Marie, each song a reminder that Heather kept her promise too. And now the band of friends is touring the country, sharing their love story with the rest of us.
“She walked with this admirable grace and really this unrelenting gratitude for every breath that she was gifted here on earth, it's something that I hope rubbed off a little bit on me to be able to carry forward."