In The Sun

I am in the last few deep breaths of a sunny vacation with the Fairest One of All, The Prince and a few awesome friends and their very awesome kids. I even got a far to rare hang with my little Sister Michelle as she has taken up residence and singing up a storm for people far from the winter. Feeling very grateful for this time away from the madness, but rested and eager to get back on the road with The Beautiful Gypsies.

A quick note about the last tour. Thanks to all for braving the snow in Denver, and coming out in Durango. Special thanks for the Sold Out show in Phoenix. What a laugh in LA with Russell, Scott , Sam and Carl and the Indoor Garden Party gang joining in the fun. Got to hear some of the tunes from a Crowe/Doyle CD that we recorded in Aus and LA last year. Grand songs. Looks like you’ll get to hear them later this year. So cool to play in Oakland and Napa for the first time. Sold out shows in Seattle, Vancouver, and Chilliwack rolled us up North. Calgary was a blast and Edmonton was ‘Band Friday’ or ‘Crew Years Eve’ (when the touring party has the next day off) so we rolled to the Black Dog after the show and had my 6 millionth great night in that pub. What a spot. We had a bonus day in Saskatoon, which remains the best-kept secret in Canada. What a great city it has become. After triumphant returns to the West End Cultural Center in Winnipeg and the Cedar theatre in Minneapolis, we wrapped up in the midst of the most boisterous St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. I loved it all. Thanks so much.

Gearing up for the start of SO LET’S GO Leg Three next week. Some shows Sold Out already. Thanks to the folks in Natick, Fredericton, and Halifax for getting the tix so quickly. A few others are on the verge of filling the house too, so grab your tix as I’d love to see you. For those wondering about the show, myself and a band of Beautiful Gypsies play tunes from my two solo CD’s, some GBS fav’s, a Newfoundland Traditional song or two, and a few guest and surprises here and there.

Speaking of surprises, here’s a very poorly kept secret; my pal Scott Grimes is jumping on the bus for a few days around NYC, Philly, and Boston. Scott has been a great friend and supporter of mine for almost a decade. I would not have hit my mark a single time in the Robin Hood Movie if not for the constant advice and pointers from Scott and a few others. He remains one of my favourite collaborators as a songwriter, singer, and actor. Had a million laughs over the years playing Wolf to his Jimmy on Republic of Doyle and what a solid he did me in agreeing to play Bobbie in the SO LET’S GO video. His final scene is even shot in his backyard. What a Gent. Check out him and the lovely Jes in the vid:


Or if you’re reading this from outside of Canada, watch here.

A few other pals may join the madness as we roll along. So grateful to them all.

As I type, the Fairest One is enjoying a much deserved sleep in while The Prince, still in pj’s, waves his new Harry Potter wand with one hand while eating toast with the other. Over his head I can see a swimming pool with a waterslide, a perfect beach that falls away to a flat, blue, welcoming sea. I am a Lucky Bastard.

See you out there on the road in a week.

Cheers,
A

Portland, Oregon – Alberta Street

There are certain places that hit you the moment you lay eyes on them. I remember driving in from Newark airport and seeing the skyline of Manhattan for the first time and immediately feeling humbled with the scale of the human achievement the silhouettes of the skyscrapers represented. Likewise the sight of the Rocky Mountains rising out of what seemed like the endless Prairies to a kid from a hilly harbor town was instantly impressive.

Other places take some warming up to and for one reason or another, don’t immediately strike you as amazing. The first time I rolled out of the Great Big Sea Van and set foot in Portland, Oregon, we were in a warehouse district at an Irish festival I think, and never got to see the river or downtown. It was a few more trips before I got to walk the river path and really understand the beauty of the bridges. After a few more visits I discovered the Jupiter Hotel, the greatest Rock and Roll hotel in the world. Then we started a love affair with the Aladdin Theatre that has never let up. And today I am sitting on the tour bus in a completely new neighborhood on Alberta Street and it is so hip and cool that I feel a fool for not knowing about it for over a decade. We play a wonderfully preserved venue called the Alberta Rose Theatre, and we should have a grand crowd of lovely folks from this city. As I sit here today enjoying the many restaurants and artsy coffee shops, and recalling the most excellent bike ride around the river path I had with my brother Bern yesterday, I can say with all honesty that Portland is easily one of the best cities in the country and quite possibly the most livable one of them all.

Jaysus, it even has one of the coolest music stores I’ve ever been to, Trade Up Music. Found this gem on Kendel’s behalf. I already have a Harmony Tenor and all hands have coveted it for a while. I promised to keep my eye open for one and this beauty Stella was a steal. I grabbed it, and Kendel nabbed it from me right away.

guit

Ahead a day now and we are precariously parked on the steep hilly street in front of one of the most famous clubs in America, the Triple Door in Seattle. I have anted to play here since I first heard of it as a kid. I must have read about it on an album jacket or something, as it has lived in my mind with the other famous venues like The Filmore in San Francisco, the Bowery or Bottom Line in NYC, First Ave in Minneapolis and The Troubadour in LA. If you told fifteen year old me that I would get to play here one day, I’d have said you were cracked. If you told me it would be Sold Out, I might have had to take a seat.

But here we are. And Sold Out it is. What an amazing way to cap of a great run in the US that started in Denver and wound it’s way through Durango, Phoenix, LA, Oakland, Napa, and Portland, before parking in front of this iconic US musical landmark. Its back to Canada tonight for a massive gig at the famous Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, and all North of 49 run in Chiliwack, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. The last couple of gigs nip back across to US to two of my fav music cities in the world, Minneapolis and Chicago.

Miles to go and Mountains to climb before we sleep.

Just the way I like it.

Cheers,
Alan

Home, trying to get to Whitecourt

Saturday, February 14th, 2015. Trying to get to Alberta since late Wednesday night. Snownami hit St. John’s and my Thursday and Friday attempted flights (6 of them) have all been cancelled.
This looks to be one of those completely bizarre days that may be best explained just by documenting it as it rolls by.

Here goes…(all times as local as I can guess them)

3:30 am-alarm sounds and I wake in St John’s and call a cab for the airport
3:35 am- receive email from Air Canada that flight to TO has been cancelled
4:00 am-spend ten minutes on the phone trying to use Uber Super Elite Million Miler power to get on 5:15 flight to Montreal. Manage to do so just as flight is cancelled.
4:20-am spent the next 4 hours in and out of phone calls to try and get on added flights to TO. Fail. Manage to get on a flight to Edmonton, via Ottawa. It is to leave at 1:30 arriving Edmonton 8:20. My set at Whitecourt is slated for 9:50…its is a 2 hour drive from the airport. Asked if I want to cancel and I don’t. The bus and band a crowd are all gonna be there. I think of all the hard work and preparations promoters, managers and volunteers have done to make this happen. I think of the band who gave up their Valentines days with their families to come play with me. I think about he crowd who would have got baby sitters or the night off or whatever. I think about them all. And I did not want to disappoint any of them. But to be honest, I hope its ok to confess that the biggest reason I wanted to make this unlikely dash across the country and make the gig was for me. I want to be there too. I did not get in this business to find good reasons to not play concerts. I got in this business because I love playing concerts more than anything else. And I’ll do just about anything to not lose one of them.
7:45 am-help The Prince deliver Valentines surprise to the Fairest of them All…delightful as I was suppose to miss it all.
8:20 am-make a breakfast with one eye on the YYT site. No aircrafts there yet.
9:20 am- hear what sounds like first flights landing at YYT, beginning to think I might actually get on a plane today.
10 am-take advantage of bonus morning at home and go snowshoeing with The Prince. He figures they only work because they make your feet bigger. Smart fella.
11:30 am-head for airport and learn that despite what I thought I heard earlier, not a single jet had landed at YYT in over 24hours. Check in for flight, that is now delayed till 2:15, pending arrival
11:45-go have Valentines Lunch with The Fairest One of All and the Prince…at Mary Browns near airport. I know. I am a Lady killer. (The pea soup at the Mary Browns Diner near Stavanger is amazing, by the way)
12:30 pm-back to airport to sit and look out the window hoping for any plane to come from anywhere.
1:25pm-my plane lands and pulls up to the gate
2:00pm-board and shortly after we take off for Ottawa vis Halifax.
3:00 pm- successful turn around in HFX and off to Ottawa. I watched Box Trolls…grand flick.
4:35 pm-arrive Ottawa dash to Edmonton gate. Arrive at gate in plenty of time to make connection, but there is no plane to be seen.
5:45 pm- tardy inbound flight from MTL arrives. ETA in Edmonton now closer to 9pm local
6pm-board flight and proceed to sit on tarmac for over an hour as they mend an electrical thingy and de-ice the wings. Use time to text back and forth with Russell Crowe about he and I and Scott Grimes and Carl Falk and a few more all being in LA on Feb 28th when I play The Mint. Should be deadly.
7:20-finally take off for Edmonton. I text tour manager Andy and say, ‘I am going to be late.’
9pm-live Twitter chat with folks on in flight wifi…thanks for the company.
9:35 pm-land in Edmonton and meet driver who recently emigrated from China. As we are waiting for three pieces of equipment to come out of baggage, he says in the loveliest Asian-learning-English accent,
‘Sorry, my English is not so good, but I am told you are famous Canadian Rock Star who needs to get to a concert where thousands of people call your name. It is a great honour of mine to have this duty tonight. I will do everything in my power to get you to your people.’ And then he bowed. I’m friggin’ serious. He bowed. Earlier the same day I was snowshoeing in downtown St. John’s and now a Chinese Gent is bowing in front of me in an Airport.
9:55-in a car and start driving to Whitecourt. Luckily the snow is over and the roads are very dry and clear. Chinese Gent is obviously driving for pride now as I see the needle on the speedometer pass 130 k’s…I stop looking.
10:55- we have somehow travelled about 125ks in one hour and are about 40 k’s from destination.
11pm- I change into my stage clothes in the back of a car doing some video game type speed while Chinese Gent excitedly starts repeating, ‘we are almost there Rock Star Alan, I can hear them shout your name.’ his knuckles white on the wheel.
11:25pm-turn off highway 43 for Whitecourt and pull up beside tour bus. Tour manager Andy is waiting, grabs the gear and says ‘perfect timing..the Fleetwood Mac Tribute band is on their last song.’
11:30pm-I thank my driver who tries this best to refuse my tip as ‘it was his honour’ I jam some cash in his blazer pocket as he comes up form his final bow. ‘Thanks man. The honour is mine.’ It was, too. What a Gent.
11:32pm- I’m led to a hockey rink kind of dressing room where Kendel, Cory, Kris, Shehab, and Todd, cheer my enrtrance. ‘Never doubted you for a second’ someone said.
12 midnight- walk onstage in Whitecourt Alberta to a well lubricated Sold Out crowd who have been much on the go. They seem legitimately glad to see me. Nowhere near as glad as I am to see them. I walk to the mic at Midnight Mountain Time which is 3:30am Newfoundland Time. I sing the first notes of the show 24 hours after my alarm sounded in St. John’s, which seems a long, long time ago in a far, far away place.

Oh, Happy Valentine’s Day.

Cheers,
Alan

St. John’s, NL

I am sitting in my kitchen in St John’s, Newfoundland watching through the windows as what only could be called a snownami covers the city.  My backyard has been made invisible, likewise my street and neighbors’ houses as a thick, salty veil of snow blows in from the Atlantic.  Quite fitting that that this wintery day affords a moment to look back on Leg 1 of the SO LET’S GO Tour; the most Canadian of all tours.

Leg 1 started and finished in the heart of the Canadian Winter.  I flew into Pearson Airport in Toronto and was whisked to a rehearsal studio not too far away where I met with these Beautiful Gypsies .

l-r Cory Tetford, Kendel Carson, me, Shehab Illyas, Todd Lumley, Kris MacFarlane

It was great to see all hands excited about the tour and learning the new SO LET’S GO tunes and getting new gear up and ready.   Here’s my rack for the tour.

ADGuitarsl-r Kala Uke, Trinity College Bouzouki, Gibson 335, Godin A8 Mando, 2x Takamine EN10 C

Here’s my Pedal Board
ADPedalBoard1
Very modest compared to Cory’s.

ADPedalBoard2And they say size does not matter.

After a couple of pretty intense rehearsals I hit the press tour on Monday.  Had some grand chats on TV and radio and even sang the Anthem at The Leafs game in TO.  As the Carolina Hurricanes were the visiting team, I had to sing the Star Spangled Banner, the hardest song in the world to sing if you are not a rangey singer.  It has always puzzled me, singing the Anthems.  It occupies a strange pace in the world of entertainment.  If you do it well, no one cares or even notices.  You do it poorly, and you instantly become a YouTube Star.   I got through it all and enjoyed the game.

ADACC

The concerts for real started in Kitchener and rolled for a few weeks through the dead of winter in Southern, Ontario.  Highlights on stage included the debut of many of the new tunes while highlights off stage included Cory karaoking Tom Petty in North Bay.  In the true winter of it all, we had to shovel our bus out in the middle of a storm in Brampton.

Over the duration of the three-week run, the new tunes left the front of our brains and went into the muscles of our hands and feet and mouths.  I love it when a new tune can be delivered without spending any energy remembering it.  It confirms for me that whatever magical process in my scattered brain that allows me to recall and perform 100’s of songs on cue, is still working.  I have no idea how it works, to be honest.  And I have no interest in learning how it works, for fear the discovery of it would ruin it somehow.

By the time we hit the magical Sold Out gigs in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall and the triumphant homecoming at Holy Heart Auditorium, me and The Beautiful Gyspies had become a band.

A band with a real show to give people.

And that’s my favourite thing to be.

Leg 2 starts in Whitecourt, Alberta on Saturday.  At the World Snowmobile Invasion.
Let it Snow.

Cheers,
Alan

Toronto

Early listeners to the new SO LET’S GO CD have responded with huge thumbs up.

“My CD is deadly.”
-a long haired fella from Petty Harbour

“Wicked Tape.”
-Cory Tetford (not necessarily the guitar player fella in the band)

“The new Alan Doyle CD could be the greatest collection of music ever compiled.”*
-Tom and Jean Doyle (possibly no relation)

Music Legends have weighed in…

“SO LET’S GO has taught me more about guitar than I ever knew before. It’s made me a WAY better player. That Alan dude is a shredder, man.”*
-Eddie Van Halen

“I thought I knew how to craft a great song but, wow, after hearing Alan Doyle’s new CD, I’ve got to get to Newfoundland and work with these folks.”*
-Neil Diamond

“My voice is higher now. After just one listen.”*
-fella from Outfield

“Um.”*
-Robert Plant

Celebrities as well…

“I bought one SO LET’S GO CD and felt good. I bought two more and felt better. So, I buy one every hour now and I find it keeps me I shape like never before.”
-Georges St. Pierre

“This CD is so great. I’m putting one under every seat in the world.”
-Oprah

“I never really felt beautiful and sexy before I heard SO LET’S GO. I wonder if Alan Doyle is single”*
-JLO, Beyonce, and Scarlett Johansson

So why not pick up a few hundred for yourself? Out everywhere Tuesday, Jan 20th.

Go here (iTunes)

Or here

Or to your fav CD store in town or online.

Very excited.

Thanks All.

Cheers,
Alan

* may or may not have actually been said; by anyone; ever.