Alan Doyle will be in Denver Wednesday February 25, 2015 Doors: 6:00 PM Show: 7:00 PM
Soiled Dove Underground 7401 E. 1st Ave
All Ages Show, Reserved Seating at or direct link: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/721105?utm_medium=bks 303-830-9214
Filling Every Moment – Alan Doyle “So Let’s Go” Tour
by Karl Kumli
Alan Doyle readily admits to channeling the spirit of Ferris Bueller. That is to say that the former front man for Newfoundland’s famous Celtic-trad-rock band Great Big Sea wants to take you along for the greatest single day of your life. Or at the very least he wants to help you to entertain the possibility of such a day. The Doylean concept of the hunt for ‘the greatest single day,’ one filled to capacity, is a corollary of something at the core of his belief system. Doyle believes profoundly in making the most of the limited time we have in this vale of tears.
And he certainly has the resume to back that up. He is a forceful presence as a musician, singer, songwriter, celebrity, producer, actor (television and film), and author – yes, author of a Canadian best-selling autobiography entitled Where I Belong. With Great Big Sea Doyle recorded nine studio albums (all went gold or platinum in Canada), several compilation albums which were released in the States, and a pair of live albums including the highly regarded Road Rage. The Great Big Sea days docked at the end after a twentieth anniversary tour in 2013. Since then Alan has filled life to the 20-ounce-pint-glass rim with music and with people. While family remains key and core, Doyle confesses to being “intensely social.” That’s probably an understatement for a fellow who has a history of making people riotous, happy, and riotously happy. “I’m terrible at being alone,” he admits, “even one hour a week. I like being part of a band of musical gypsies: singing songs, loving the camaraderie. I should be over it by now, shouldn’t I?” he asks rhetorically. “But I’m not. I don’t find being by myself all that rewarding and I’m not very good at it.”
I caught up with Alan via phone from Canada just before the roll-out of his new solo tour. Denver is stop number one in the States – a February 25th date at the Soiled Dove Underground.
So how, I wanted to know, does he manage to write songs, blogs and books – seemingly relatively introspective pursuits, when he isn’t alone. One might imagine him quietly awaiting the muse. After all, he received his degree in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland at St. John’s. One would be wrong. Very wrong.
“The book was one of the most solo things I’ve ever done in my life,” he admitted, “even though I did it in very public places. I wrote the whole book while I was doing something else on the tour, on the bus, at the airport.” And that’s part of the Doyle approach – fill every moment.
So he is filling the moment again with a new album and a North American tour. For this new tour Alan promises a bit of the old and a bit of the new. Kris MacFarlane, the drummer on several of the last GBS tours, is part of the new band. Joining in is Kendel Carson, a comely Western Canadian with serious fiddle credentials and a country sensibility, having played with the Paperboys and Chip Taylor.
The show is certain to feature some well-known GBS tunes, some of Alan’s own stuff – the old and the new, perhaps some trad and a dash of the unexpected. Doyle promises a great ‘kitchen party’, as oft times before. It is clearly where he pours the greater part of his substantial passion.
“A great fun night out – what people have come to expect from me when I’m at a microphone,” he assures. “And I like being part of a [musical] team,” he says. “I don’t have a bucket list. I honestly don’t have one,” he insists. Yeah, sure, he admits in a reflective moment, “happy and healthy and all that stuff, of course,” but mostly it is about the music and the filled moment.
“I want to be in a band that has a record out. And if someone told me, ‘the only thing you were ever going to do for the rest of your life would be to play concerts’ I’d be the happiest guy in the world. I want to be a guy playing music forever.”
I noted that this tour will have him playing at home in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland as well as across the continent. Doyle’s music publishing company is Skinners Hill Music – so named after the street where he grew up. Skinner was the former Catholic Archbishop of Newfoundland. Is a concert on the home turf any different from the other gigs, I wondered? “Yeah, a little. It’s different. Nerve-wracking but rewarding. You know that you are playing in a place where you also go to the grocery store.”
But the next moment the troubadour comes through again. “Concerts are a magical kind of a thing. As a kid I’d watch my uncle play at the dances and it was people working hard all week and this is where they’d come. This is a perfect match — the band needs a crowd and a crowd needs a band.” Both fill each other up – every minute.
The title track on Doyle’s new release, his second solo album, So Let’s Go, is written and performed in just that spirit. The texture and color of the piece instantly will be familiar and welcome to those who know the Great Big Sea hit Consequence Free and it’s slightly more muscular cousin, Straight to Hell.
A night with Doyle and his band of musical gypsies is something worth cramming into even the busiest of schedules. As one line from his latest hit points out, “We’re only here for so long.”
Interview from February 2015 Celtic Connection
ALAN DOYLE “Let’s Go Tour”
Wednesday February 25, 2015 Doors: 6:00 PM Show: 7:00 PM
Soiled Dove Underground 7401 E. 1st Ave Denver, CO
All Ages Show, Reserved Seating $25 – $30, 303-830-9214 at or direct link: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/721105?utm_medium=bks