I remember August 3rd, 1993, like it was yesterday. It was the day that GBS was to launch our first ever CD. Less than 24 hours previous, I held it in my hands for the first time. I stood outside the door of our frat-like house at 17 Suez Street in St. John’s and stared at the blues and whites of Scott Goudie’s artwork winding together under the Great Big Sea logo. I had never been so thrilled to hold anything in my life.
On the day of the launch we were all busy running back and forth to the space above Erin’s Pub on Water Street preparing for the show were to play that evening. We brought in a bigger PA than normal, had our friend Greg play percussion with us, and some of the gals and friends made food for a wee reception. It was a real group effort and one of the most satisfying days of my life.
Today is May 15th, 2012. Almost 19 years later and I am lucky enough to have a very similar day. Only a day or so ago I held the Boy on Bridge CD in my hands for the first time. I sat in a talk Radio Station and very nonchalantly, one of the hosts slid it across the desk to me. It took me back a bit, I confess, as I was not expecting to see it. Wow. What feeling. My own face staring back at me with my name written across it. My own CD. The 14 year-old me would not believe what I was seeing. Jaysus, the 42 year old me hardly believes it.
Today has been, in many ways quite a different affair from the running about of the GBS gig back in 1993. Today, I spent most of the day performing on National TV and Radio and being kindly whisked to and from interviews by a Publicist from a Major Record Label, and rushed to Pearson Airport to just barely catch this Air Canada Flight to Halifax, where I’ll do it all again tomorrow. What a thrill ride.
Though, I have to say, in many other ways, this day is more similar to that day almost 19 Years ago. Primarily in that it comes not a result of my efforts, but as a product of many people pulling together to make this wonderful day happen.
I’d like to thank Marcus and the publicity team at Universal and my long suffering Tour Manager, Andy Robicheu for putting the last few days of press and public appearances together. I am really grateful to the folks making up the new AD Band, namely Cory, Kris, Kendal, Shehab, and Todd. They have all or in part played with me this week on TV and Radio to help me promote the new tunes.
Many more people helped make me make this CD. I thanked many of them in the credits and liner notes for the CD. If it is cool, I’d like to re-print those notes here.
Recorded in 2011 in all kinds of ways in the most likely and unlikely places. I sang on all the songs, and played stuff I know how to play like guitars and mandolins and percussion. I also played things I am kind of learning how to play like banjo, piano, and accordion. When the situation demanded it, I also wound up playing some stuff I am terrible at, like cello and dobro.
The Hawksley Sessions
Recorded in three places. First, in the spare bedroom of Hawksley’s Toronto apartment, then in the converted garage near his place in the snowy beauty of wintry North Ontario and finally, at the Blue Rodeo cool Woodshed Studio in Toronto.
The Woodshed Sessions were engineered by Stew Crooks.
Sorry, Northern Plains, and Love while Love’s Awake, were written and produced by Hawksley Workman and me. Stu Young mixed these tunes at LoudMouse Studio in Toronto.
Hawksley on guitar, drums, keyboards, harmonica, backing vocals
Todd Lumley on piano and Hammond organ
Derrick Bradey on bass
Jean Martin on drums
Jessie Zubot on violin, viola, and mandolin
Special thanks to Jim Cuddy for the Guest Vocal on Northern Plains.
The Sampson Shack Sessions
Recorded in a massive awesome studio called The Tracking Room and a shack behind a rental property near Gordie Sampson’s house in Nashville. I might have done some stuff in Room 327 of the Comfort Inn Hotel on Demonbreun Street, at LoudMouse Studio in Toronto, and in my basement studio at home.
I wrote Where the Nightingales Sing with Gordie and Kelly Archer, I’ve Seen A Little with Gordie and Troy Verges, and My Day with Ryan Tyndall. I wrote Break it Slow.
The recordings were engineered by Dave Salley and Gordie, and produced by Gordie and me. Stu Young mixed these tunes at LoudMouse Studio in Toronto. Spencer Crewe and/or Mark Neary probably helped me engineer some of the overdubs at my place.
Gordie on guitars, mandolin, banjo, accordion, percussion, piano, Hammond organ,and backing vocals
Tom Bukovac on guitars
Ethan Pilzer on bass
Shawn Fichter on drums
Mike Johnson on pedal steel and slide guitar
Jason Mowery on fiddle and dobro
Tom Power on banjo
Greg Hawco on percussion
Maureen Ennis on Backing Vocals
Special thanks to Kelly Archer for the guest vocal on Nightingale and Holly Williams for the guest vocal on Break it Slow.
With Russell and Colin in The Warehouse
Recorded at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, a hotel room somewhere, (I can’t recall but it had a Pepsi machine right outside the door, I can hear the buzz of it on one of the backing vocal tracks) and back home in my basement studio.
Testify, Lover’s Hands, and Where I Belong were written by Russell Crowe and me, and produced by me as well. Stu Young mixed Testify, and Where I Belong, at Loudmouse Studio in Toronto. I mixed Lover’s Hands in my basement studio at home.
Engineered by Mike Fraser, with assistance from Eric Mosher.
Doug Elliot on bass
Geoff Hicks on drums
Daryl Havers on piano
Marcus Mosely backing vocals
Special thanks to Colin James on guitars and backing vocals on Testify and to Maureen Ennis for the Backing Vocals on Lovers Hands.
The Sean Panting Incident
Recorded mostly in a house on Mount Scio Road and in my basement studio in St. John’s, Newfoundland, but we added some stuff in a theatre dressing room in Long Beach, California, and on the beach just north of Daytona, Florida.
Light the Way and Perfect Excuse were written by Sean Panting and me. I produced them with Don Ellis. Don and Mark Neary engineered. Stu Young mixed Light the Way at Loudmouse, and I mixed Perfect Excuse in my basement studio at home and on Air Canada Flight 692 in seat 13C.
Sean on guitars and backing vocals
Don on bass
Adam Staple on drums and percussion
Paul Kinsman on Hammond organ and piano accordion
Scott Grimes and Keith Power sang backing vocals on Light the Way
Mike Post’s Place
The Rules Will All Be Broken and When We Go was written recorded and mixed at Post Productions by Mike Post and me with assistance from Brandon McCormick and Andrew Birkhimer.
Mike Post on piano and orchestration
Brandon McCormick programming
Photos by Vanessa Heins
Artwork and layout by Jud Haynes
Managed by Louis Thomas at Sonic Entertainment Group, Halifax, Nova Scotia www.sonicentertainmentgroup.com
Canada booking by Jack Ross at The Agency Group
US and worldwide booking by Brian Swanson at Monterey Artists
Please visit www.alandoylemusic.ca and www.greatbigsea.com or follow Alan on twitter @alanthomasdoyle.
-Bob and Sean and all the GBS cast, crew, and fans for allowing and supporting this indulgence. I would not be here without you all.
-Louis Thomas all the Sonic gang for long suffering my many whims and crazy ideas.
-Joel Stewart and Melisa McRae at Corus and John Vatcher, Rob Blackie, and Allan Hawco at Take the Shot and all your filmmaking peeps for being such a big part of this whole deal.
-David at Grant Thornton and David and Heather at RBC for keeping me in the black.
-Gordie Sampson for introducing me to Nashville’s finest.
-Hawksley and Jennifer for the bunk and best beef stew in the world.
-All Hands at Universal Music Canada for jumping aboard so quickly.
-Mike Post and team for donating so much time and talent.
-Russell Crowe for the collaboration, advice, and good times in both hemispheres.
-Scott Grimes and Keith Power for LA hospitality.
-All the folks who worked on great tunes with me that did not make it on this CD. I promise our songs will be heard.
-Mom and Dad, Kim, Bernie and Michelle and families for a lifetime of love.
-My beautiful wife Joanne and beautiful boy Henry for everything. Seriously, everything.
I will add to this the most Special Thanks of all, to you, Dear Readers, Followers on Twitter, Friends on Facebook, Fans and Supporters of every type. Just before I got on this plane the CD was hovering in the Top 5 CD’s in Canada. Wow. I am humbled and grateful by your response so far, and I ask one more time…
Who is Luckier than me?
Thank you. All of you.