Name many of the most notable recordings and/or performers in Irish music and it’s a fair bet that John Doyle had something to do with them: Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers, Karan Casey, Solas, Michael Black, Mary Black, the trio of McCusker, McGoldrich and Doyle, The Teetotalers, and now, Usher’s Island. Together, they comprise a veritable Who’s Who of the greatest names in Irish music. These are just a few of the stellar artists for whom John Doyle’s signature guitar sound, singing or songwriting is essential.
From a music family in Dublin, John’s influences include well-known English folk singers Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson and The Watersons; Scottish singers Dick Gaughan and John Martin; and fellow Irishmen Paul Brady and Al O’Donnell, as well as his father Sean Doyle, probably the biggest influence of all. At 16, John went on the road professionally with the group Chanting House which he formed with Susan McKeown and eventually included such great payers as Seamus Egan, Eileen Ivers and Donogh Hennessy.
John went on to form the highly acclaimed super group Solas with Seamus Egan, John Williams, Karan Casey and Winifred Horan which took the folk and Celtic music worlds by storm, in no small part due to John’s powerhouse rhythmic guitar style and innovative arrangements. As a member of Solas, John performed to sold-out audiences nationally and internationally and appeared on many national television and radio programs.
After leaving Solas, John has gone on to perform and tour with other greats in the folk, Celtic and bluegrass worlds — as music director for Joan Baez, guitarist for Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eileen Ivers, Tim O’Brien, Linda Thompson, Kate Rusby, Cathie Ryan, Cherish the Ladies. He’s appeared on soundtracks for feature films, composed film music, and performed on countless recordings for a range of notable artists. He has been a featured regular for many years in the hugely popular BBC Scotland “Transatlantic Sessions” regularly broadcast in Ireland and at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival, performing with Americana greats Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Sara Watkins, Kathy Mattea, and many others.
New World Festival will welcome his return.