So Let’s Go

Very exciting… sneak a listen to the new Single and Title Track to the new Alan Doyle SO LET’S GO album:

You can pre-order a signed copy of the album HERE!

For tickets and pre-sale information on Alan’s North American Tour, starting in January 2015, visit the TOUR page.

Flight AC 667 YYT-YYZ

A beautiful day in Newfoundland afford an amazing view of the South Coast of the Island. I’ve been to Bay D’Espair once with GBS years ago, but have not yet got to full explore what looks like one of the most breathtaking parts of our Province.

Big day for me today. My first book, Where I Belong, published by Double Day and Random House in Canada hits the shelves and digital shelves today. I’ve mentioned it may times here but for those hearing of it for the first time, the book traces my young life in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland up until the lucky day when I got the chance to be in Great Big Sea. So far, readers seem very happy to have read the tales of garbage bagged guitars, saltwater goalie pads, altar boy antics, cod tongue cutting superhero fishermen, and all the rest of it. I am so grateful to everyone who’s helped me make the book possible. If you don’t mind, I’d like offer thanks to them all, publicly, here.

First to editor Nita Pronovost, who convinced me I had a story worth telling and held my hand and walked me through the steep learning curve of telling it.

Michael Levine got this whole thing started as he connected me with Nita and Scott Sellers and many others at Random House Canada. Michael’s got a keen eye for stories and I’m grateful and honored to be amongst his long list of clients, literary and otherwise.

A few select people read advance drafts of this book and their comments were invaluable in its completion. Dawn Chafe, along with husband Karl, Murray Foster, Kerri MacDonald and my brother, Bernie Doyle were all kind enough to wade through early drafts and helped me make it better with their input.

Victoria O’Grady did some early leg work for this book, compiling, copying and editing photos and blogs. I am grateful to her for this and so many other things she’s done to keep my work and home operating smoothly.

The photos in this book were taken or scanned and reproduced by the amazing Brian Ricks. I am grateful to him and all the folks, especially Margaret Walsh, who so generously made their photos available.

I discovered I knew none of the mechanics of writing dialogue. I explained my problem to my neighbour Ed Riche as we met one morning while putting out the garbage. He set me straight. Helps to have internationally successful writers in the ’hood.

Louis Thomas, my manager, somehow never blinks when I come to him with any crazy interest of mine, from music to acting to public speaking to writing. His administration and advice in this project have proved as beneficial as ever. Likewise all the gang at Sonic Entertainment in Halifax.

The cast and crew of Great Big Sea remain at the helm of the Mothership, and I could not have done this without their support.

My Mom and Dad, sisters and Brother gave me not only their stories and permission to use them but also the cheers and praise I needed exactly when I needed it. As always.

Finally, My wife, Joanne, and son, Henry, frequently stood patiently in the porch as I asked them to wait one more minute for me to email a chapter to the Editor or read a suggested revision. I cannot imagine how many times they have had to say my name more than once before getting my attention during the many stages of this project. Their support and encouragement is what I live for.

And Finally, Finally, thanks to you Dear Readers of this Blog. Truth be told, it is this space that tweaked the interest of the Publishers. And it was here I’ve been unknowingly training for the chance to write a book. Thanks for sticking with me here for so long. More to come.

You can get the book just about anywhere books are sold in Canada, and online world wide. The store page will show you where to go.

There’s a whole pile of press and events and public appearances in Canada and the US coming up in the next few weeks. Check out the tour page or Follow @alanthomasdoyle on Twitter for info.

Cheers,
Alan

p.s. Also happy to report the finishing touches on the Second AD Solo CD are being done as I type. First single should be ready to go in a week or so and the full CD in January just before a big North American Tour. Keep you posted on all. Fun Stuff.

Tonder, Denmrk-Hamburg, Germany

It is 2:53 am.  I’m in the middle seat, back row of an eight passenger van, lodged between a drummer and a fiddler. If I crane my neck left and back or right and forward as we jet down the Danish Highway I can see through the space between a piano player and a guitar player on one side or a bass player on the other.  The broken white lines on the perfectly smooth pavement curve toward the headlights and zip beneath us.  Feels like a small plane on an unusually long runway.

Its an odd energy as it its not really an early rise, as none of us has slept yet.  Nor is it a post gig dash as we did not really play a show tonight.  I am not sure if I should be telling jokes and reviewing the evenings events as I would normally do in the van or bus after a concert, or try to keep my mouth shut and not bug people as I am sometimes disciplined enough to do in the early mornings. This is an odd travel day for sure.  Its is a day that will require me to have in my pocket Danish Kroners to start, then onto Euros for Germany, Pound Sterling for Heathrow and Canadian Dollars for Home.  This a strange day.  A strange and wonderful day.

I am heading home after what feels like a dream week on the road.  After the home run of a gig in London, I feel like we scored again at the Tonder Festival.  We Sold Out of all the Boy on Bridge CD’s and all the concerts and appearances went very well.  Amazing considering the options for fans to see this week.  I saw many of them myself. The Chieftains and their whole gang were as charming as ever.  So good to see all of them as lovely as they were when GBS supported their US Tour over a decade ago.  Bruce and Runrig were kind enough to ask me up to sing Beat the Drum, one of my fav tunes of theirs.  Likewise, Oysterband had me guest on When I’m Up, and I asked the boys up during my set for ‘Native Son’.   I did not get to see Steve Earle’s set, but heard it was his usual, great performance.  By far the most impressive thing I saw all weekend was The Lone Bellow.  Easily the freshest take on folk music I’ve heard in a while.  Not to mention what could be the best live singing trio I’ve ever heard.  Really fantastic.

The Tonder Festival is the best music Festival I’ve ever attended or played.  Everything is so well organized and thought out.  The stages are all the perfect height and the sound is always impeccable.  The backstage is literally a musician’s dream.  There is a dedicated bar just for the bands and their guests.  And if it ever closes, I’ve never seen it.  There are tables and benches indoors and out to accommodate chats and songs and tunes inside and out.  Theres always two or three different tables and areas with folks playing fiddle tunes over here and another crowd singing shanties over there and around the corner in a quieter spot a pass-the-guitar circle is in mid session with something heartfelt and true gently filling the air.  It is magical.

Pretty quiet now.  To my left Kris has his headphones in staring into the night sky while dissecting some song on his most awesome Itunes collection.  Kendel is asleep next to me on the other side with her head against the window and her fiddle propped up with her knees.  I cannot help but wonder how many kilometers she’s travelled in this exact position as she’s toured for well over half her young life.  Cory and Shehab both appear to be sleeping while Todd sits as calm and studious as ever, no doubt figuring out some hard thing in his ever moving brain.  Tour manager Andy is way up front there with our Danish driver.  I can’t see much of them from back here but I’d bet the farm that Andy is looking at the clock on his phone every ten minutes or so, as great tour managers are want to do.  Me, I honestly don’t know if I should be going to sleep or waking up.

Either way I’m very happy.  I am in a band and we just played Tonder Festival.  And it doesn’t get much better than that.

In 40 minutes or so we should be at Hamburg Airport.  From there I fly for an hour to Heathrow, and after negotiating the maze that is LHR I should board a direct flight to St. John’s just in time to help get ready for Grade Three.

Cheers,

Alan

Hamburg, Germany – Tonder, Denmark

Currently riding in the third row of a three-row spliter van on a 90 minute drive from Hamburg Airport to Tonder, Denmark.  Most of the AD Band jumped in the sister vehicle and are either just behind us or ahead, while myself and keyboard God, Todd Lumley are sharing this vehicle with John, a guitarist form North Carolina, Sara Lee Guthrie, and the two Ladies of Madison Violet.  Pretty cool to be doing this very European and International drive with musos from all over the place.  Makes me feel like I’m in the club.  Probably shouldn’t need such reminders and reassurances at this point, but I honestly mark and appreciate every time I get a moment like this.  Often its these surreal travel moments that confirm your place in the music biz more than a third encore at the Mainstage.

Just flew to Germany from London, England, where I played my first ever solo show overseas at the famous Borderline Club in Soho.  GBS played there a few times, but not since 2007, I think.  It was a thrill to see the room Sold Out as I feared our long absence from the UK music scene might have led people to forget about us, and me, I suppose.  But even on a Tuesday after a Bank Holiday weekend, people filled the room, some coming from as far away a Czechoslovakia and Australia for the gig.  They sang and danced with us and made me laugh and smile and even a bit weepy when they sang ‘Where I Belong’ louder than me for the finale.  To say it was a Milestone would be an understatement.  Thanks to ye all for the show and the after show at the 12 Bar.

The day before the gig was no slouch either as we all flew over night from North America and on the jet lag day I dragged Cory around London for his first ever tourist run through one of the greatest cities the world has ever known.  And I don’t think such a claim is unfair.  Consider this.  I clicked on my runners watch and  walked 2 k from our hotel to Hyde Park and jogged over to the Royal Albert Hall and then down through Marble Arch, and into Green Park.  We ran past Speakers Corner and the Canadian Monument and the Newfoundland Post and around the round about in front of Buckingham Palace.  We continued down the Mall and through the gates at Scotland Yard into Trafalgar Square just below Piccadilly Circus where we took a hard right and ran past West Minister Abbey, Big Ben, The Tower of London and onto Tower Bridge and South Embankment to the London Eye.  We paused for tourist photos and I looked at my runners watch.  It was still not at 10ks.  All of what I have just listed can be seen on a walk spanning less than 8 kilometers.  Truly astounding.  Any country in the world would be chuffed to have so many attractions.  One city, London, has all this.  In one very small section of town.

CT

We made our way back to the hotel and collected Tour Manager Andy and Bass God Shehab and went out for a evening look.  After a traditional pint in a very traditional English Pub, I suggested we find an Indian restaurant as London is famous for its Curries and the like.  I remembered a night out well over a decade ago when GBS had just gotten signed to a UK Label called Cooking Vinyl.  The President, Martin took us to a place called the Bombay Brasserie where we abused his corporate credit card drinking way too many Kingfishers.  Somewhere in the haze of the nights debauchery I recalled the food being incredible, so we sought out to find the place.  Sure enough, right across from the Gloucester Tube station, the Bombay Brasserie still stands.

In we went and had had the best Indian food I’ve ever had anywhere. (with humble apologies to India Gate in St John’s, which is awesome).  We rolled back to the hotel for perhaps one drink before bed.  Turns out the evening had more in store for us.  Near our Kensington Hotel, there was a Jamaican or West Indies kind of Carnival in Knotting Hill.  Many of the dance troupes from the festival, scantily clad in feathers and spandex were staying at our hotel.  They had the Lobby bar going pretty good.  Then the bands started showing up.  Including Shaggy.  Seriously.

Kendel joined us and it was fun to be a fly on the wall in that room.  Even had a chat with Shaggy about playing St. John’s.  Cory had opened for him with Crush.  Kendel and Shaggy even shared a bowl of chips, though I’m not certain he was wise to it.  I’ll let Kendel explain it some other time.

A few more gigs to round out the Summer schedule to come.  The Tonder festival and a gig in Spencerville Ontario are coming up. Most of September I’ll be finishing the new Alan Doyle CD.  Keep you posted on all that.

October and November will be mostly book stuff as ‘Where I Belong’ comes out October 14th.  A full slate of authorish kind of things will unroll soon.  Look out for me coming to a town near you promoting the book.

Also selling early bird tix for some of the shows coming up in January.

All the info will show up on the tour page.

Just rolling into Tonder.  When I came here first in the late ‘90’s with GBS I said this was the best Folk Festival in the World.  15 years later and I still think the same thing.

I am here.  I am a Lucky Bastard.  Tak.

Cheers,

Alan