A Letter From John Doyle

John DoyleThe following is a letter from John Doyle who is heading to Vermont this weekend to perform at Higher Ground.

“Hello everybody…..I’m here at home with my family in lovely Asheville, NC on my last few days before taking the plunge into a 2 week solo tour, eating soda bread that I made and drinking copious amounts of strong Irish tea, the champion of all drinks.  I’ve taken up building stone walls in my back yard, which I must say is very fulfilling if not a little dangerous for someone in my profession but I’m taking care not to squish too many fingers before I come play.

Really looking forward to coming up to Burlington.  Mark Sustic has been extremely supportive over the years and I always look forward to the shows there.  Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to recently:  For the last year and a half I’ve been the Musicial Director/Guitarist/Singer for the legendary Joan Baez, doing three 6 week tours a year.  It’s been an experience of a lifetime getting to know Joan, hearing her amazing stories, traveling the world with her and seeing how incredibly loved and respected she is worldwide.  I’ve recorded a few new or relatively new cd’s over the last couple of years, the most recent of which is “Exiles Return” with myself and my former Solas bandmate and friend, Karan Casey.  It was lovely to make this recording and we’re especially proud of it.  The title track is a song I wrote specifically for the record…

Liz Carroll and I had the proud honor to perform for President Obama, VP Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and many other dignitaries at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon in Washington, DC March 17, 2009.  It was an experience I’ll certainly never forget…

Liz and I  were nominated for a 2010 Grammy for our duo recording, “Double Play” in the Best Traditional World Music category – we lost out to Mamadou D’iabate but still, pretty great to be the first traditional Irish artists to be nominated besides the Chieftains!  I was also named the “Best Traditional Artist” by Earle Hitchener, writing for the “Irish Echo”.  Jerry Holland, whom many of you probably know, lost a long battle with cancer and very sadly passed away this last year.  It was a tragic loss for the music and for me personally but I had the great fortune of playing and recording with him just a very few weeks before his passing.  This recording, “Helping Hands” is a stellar example of Jerry’s wonderful playing and personality – one of my all time favourites.

One of my main reasons for embarking on this solo tour is that over the past couple of years I’ve been writing a lot of songs and have really been hankering to get out and perform them.  So, I hope to see many of you there!”

John Doyle will be playing at Higher Ground this Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 7:30pm. Tickets are just $15. Hope to see you there! John  is also giving a pre-concert guitar workshop for intermediate and advanced players. Contact Mark Sustic for workship info at mrksustc@together.net.

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