DUBLIN-BORN John Doyle is an exceptional musician. Playing left-handed, the gifted guitarist has carved out his own special niche in a genre that has its fair share of talented acoustic guitarists around the globe.
Growing up in a musical family (his father Sean is a singer and John actually produced his album) he is steeped in the Irish folk tradition and admits that’s where his heart lies.
The guitar is a relatively new instrument to Irish traditional music and although it crept in from America in the ’30s and ‘40s it was the great folk revival of the ‘60s that really established its current lofty position.
The guitar’s versatility as a lead or accompanying instrument, with its multitude of tuning possibilities, makes it an attractive addition to any recording or live situation. This is where a cracking musician like Doyle comes into his own.
While willingly acknowledging that his influences include English and Scottish folk singers such as Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Dick Gaughan and John Martin, as well as fellow countrymen Paul Brady and Al O’Donnell (surely one of the great underrated folk artists), he is very much his own man and is indeed someone who will be an influence on future generations of folk guitarists.
Doyle has always travelled in good musical company. Going on the road at the tender age of 16 as a professional with his own band, Chanting House, he eventually moved to America where he went on to form Irish-American super-group Solas, who shook up the folk and Celtic music worlds.
Various collaborations over the years with people like Liz Carroll, Karan Casey, Mike McGoldrick and John McCusker, Martin Hayes and Kevin Crawford, plus playing on countless recordings and producing albums for other artists, means that Doyle is constantly in demand.
However, he still found time to establish a solo career as a singer/songwriter and you can catch him at the following dates on his current tour.
John Doyle plays The Ram Club, Thames Ditton (May 16), Kalamazoo Club, London (17), The Barn at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey (18), Colchester Folk Club (19), Dartford Folk Club (20), Baldock & Lechworth Folk Club, Baldock (21), The Hen & Chicken, Bristol (22), King’s Place, London (23), Elsing Village Hall, Norfolk (24), House concert, Macclesfield (26), Irvine Folk Club (28), Tyneside Irish Centre (29), Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh (30), Glenuig (31), Isle of Skye (June 1), Glencoe (2), Glasgow (3), The Met, Bury (4), Carlisle Folk Club (6). Full details on www.johndoylemusic.com