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. From Liz Carroll to Eileen Ivers, Karan Casey, supergroup Solas, Michael Black, Mary Black are just a very few of the stellar artists for whom John Doyle's signature guitar sound, singing or songwriting is essential. On Monday, Sept. 3, celebrating Labor Day weekend and Boothbay Harbor Fest, John Doyle arrives to perform at the historic Opera House in Boothbay Harbor. And with be bringing Solas member Mick McAuley with him.
From a musical 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. John went on the road as a pro at 16 with the group Chanting House which he formed with Susan McKeown and which eventually included such great players as Seamus Egan, Eileen Ivers, & 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 as well as appearing on many national TV and radio programs: NBC’s The Today Show, various programs for National Public Radio and Public Radio International, A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, E-Town and World Cafe as part of that critically acclaimed group, he also received three NAIRD awards and a Grammy nomination for the band’s self-titled first recording.
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 folk icon Joan Baez, guitarist for Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eileen Ivers, Tim O’Brien (John was included on Tim’s 2006 Grammy-award winning CD, Fiddler’s Green), Linda Thompson, Kate Rusby, Cathie Ryan, Cherish the Ladies, and many others. He has appeared on soundtracks for the feature film, The Brothers McMullan, Soldier, PBS’s Out of Ireland and also composed the music for the film Uncle Robert’s Footsteps and the play Down the Flats as well as performing on countless recordings as guitarist and/or singer for other notable artists such as Kate Rusby, Linda Thompson, Tim O’Brien, Alison Brown, Seamus Egan, Eileen Ivers, Mick Moloney, Cathal McConnell and Karan Casey. He’s performed alongside Jerry Douglas, Rodney Crowell, Kathy Mattea and Sara Watkins.
Advance discounted tickets are $25, available only from the box office at 86 Townsend Avenue or by calling 633-5159. The box office is open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but will be closed on Friday, Aug. 30. Discounted tickets must be purchased in advance of this date. Regular tickets are $30 and available online at www.boothbayoperahouse.com and at the door. Doors open at 7 for the 7:30 p.m. concert