John Doyle is one of the most influential and important musicians in Irish music today. He was a founding member of Irish American supergroup Solas in the 1990s and recently served as band leader for the Joan Baez band. As a guitarist, he is unparalleled for his harmonic and rhythmic genius. His instrumental prowess contributed to his 2010 GRAMMY nomination for Best Traditional World Music album for his collaboration with fiddler Liz Carroll on Double Play. In recent years Doyle has emerged as an important singer of Irish music as well; his 2010 collaboration, Exiles Return, with Karan Casey won him critical acclaim and solidified his reputation as a world class interpreter of traditional songs.
On Shadow and Light, his 2nd solo effort and the follow up to Wayward Son (2005), Doyle establishes himself as a masterful composer as well. 10 of the album’s 11 tracks were all written by Doyle and include an engaging and mesmerizing combination of songs and tunes. Notable tracks include the Civil War inspired “Clear the Way”, which tells the story of the Irish Americans who served, “Liberty’s Sweet Shore” about Irish immigration to the US, and the blockbuster set of tunes entitled “Donald Ward’s” which features an otherworldly performance from guest fiddler Stuart Duncan. Through it all, Doyle’s tenor vocals and driving guitar playing are front and center, establishing him as a multi-faceted talent in Irish music with a album that is destined to become a classic in the genre.
“Whether playing in a band [like Solas], as an accompanist [as with Liz Carroll], or as a solo performer, John Doyle has a magical touch, always providing exactly what is needed: the right progression, a nimble melody, a delicate harmony line; a dream guitarist.” —Irish Edition