Vacation

Enjoying a bit of down time with the family after a fun and busy time promoting the book and finishing the music, art, and video for the So Let’s Go CD. What a few weeks it has been.

The book dropped just over a month go. In the three weeks that followed I’ve done a day, or multiple days in Toronto, London, St. John’s, Petty Harbour, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Boston, Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. I really enjoyed the whole experience chatting about the book to media folks, and people at signings and events.

I found the whole trip a little odd for two main reasons. First, because the hours of a book tour are almost perfectly opposite of a music tour. Just about every day on the run started with a 4 or a 5 as the first digit in the alarm clock. Travel and morning TV commitments meant early rises, which I am used to for band travel, but this was different. Not only did I have to be awake at an ungodly hour, I had to be clean and washed and alert and engaged and not all together smelly, and hair brushed and be clean clothed….none of which I am used to. And, of course at the other end of the day, a similar unfamiliar phenom occurred, where I was often done the days commitments by 9:30 pm…just when I’m used to being most awake and heading to work.

Secondly, I often found myself at 10 pm in a hotel alone. Like wise on morning airplanes or in taxis. This might sound strange to you, but I have almost no experience travelling alone. I would venture a guess that before this book tour, I had spent less than ten nights in a hotel where I was the only one in the party. Whether with music, or production, family travel, or acting, or just plain fun trips, I’ve so rarely found myself alone on the road.

So strange for me to be in a hotel room at 10:30 pm, with no one up or down the hall from me to get up to mischief with. On this recent trip I was made more aware than ever that I am so lucky to be so often just one in a gang of likeminded fools. What a better way to criss cross the globe than with a built in party of gypsies.

Not that I’m complaining about the book tour. Quite the contrary. I sincerely enjoyed every second of it all and remain really grateful to Scott Sellers and all at Random House Canada for their time and effort in the whole deal. Not to mention their investment and confidence in me and the whole Where I Belong project.

There may be one more book signing just before Christmas in St. John’s. Keep you posted. Thanks for all the support for the book. 5 weeks on the Bestsellers List. Wicked.

Back to my night job as a musician now. Yesterday I gave the nod on the Final Master for the SO LET’S GO CD. I am super excited for you all to hear it. The title single is getting great reviews and thanks for getting it on iTunes and requesting it at your fave station.

Get ready for the video, which is to be released very soon. Its really fun. Thanks to these two amazing actors. Scott Grimes and Jes Macallan are amazing talents and I’m so grateful to them for giving me their time and energy. I am literally not worthy.

2014-nov24

I’ll have a lot more to say about the tunes on the CD and the Tour to support it in the coming weeks. Many of the dates in the new year are near Sold Out, so I’m very thankful to all for picking up tix. Should be fun nights out. I’ll have a cracker band playing songs from my CDs, GBS catalogue, Crowe/Doyle songs, and a few others.

Check out the dates here. Love to see you if you can make it.

I’ve been on a wee three day holiday with my wife and a few friends. Luck found us a golden chance to be in Scotland together and explore Edinburgh and Glasgow. I’ve been to both cities a few times, and this was a treat to play tour guide to some newbies. I LOVE Scotland. The anchor event for two of the three nights was a concert with The Once and Passenger. Really loved Passenger and how he commands the room with nothing but a guitar and a song. Well done. But, of course, our hearts were set on the crowd from Home and watching The Once win over huge unsuspecting crowds was a thrill to behold. I’ve been lucky enough to have someone from Newfoundland walk up to me after a Mainland or European gig and tell me they were proud of us. But I confess I never quite understood what they meant till these past couple of nights. Geri, Phil and Andrew certainly don’t need me to be proud of them and all they’ve done, but I am. I can’t help it. I certainly couldn’t help it in Glasgow and Edinburgh as they had thousand of Scots singing songs from Newfoundland. One of the coolest travel moments of my life. Well done, our crowd.

Stay tuned for more info on all that lies ahead.

Cheers,
Alan

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