While Newfoundland native Alan Doyle is looking forward to helping Moncton celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this Saturday, the prospect of playing a show in Downtown Moncton is proving to be an equally exciting venture for the long-standing musician.
“Moncton has long been a special place for me, and I absolutely love the idea of playing a show in the heart of the city,” Doyle says.
Doyle says that while the Atlantic region tends to be overlooked by many Canadian acts hailing from other parts of the country, the region will forever feel like home as he says this is where his former band, Great Big Sea, cut their teeth on the road to national and international success.
“Atlantic Canada is where we got started and where we learned how to do it. I remember the first time we [Great Big Sea] toured New Brunswick, we were blown away that Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John were so close to one another. We didn’t have that at home,” Doyle says, laughing.
Fresh off a quick jaunt overseas, where he and his band The Beautiful Gypsies performed in the U.K. and Germany, Doyle excitedly shares that his third solo effort, A Week At The Warehouse, will be released this coming fall.
“It’s a very old school kind of record in that we put a band in a room, pressed record, and then went home.”
The musician shares the upcoming album reflects his Celtic upbringing with tinges of country, rock and roll, and folk music thrown in for good measure. Ultimately, however, he feels the record captures the energy and enthusiasm of the group’s infectious live show.
“We wanted this album to reflect what it’s like to be at one of our live shows, so it in a roundabout kind of way, the upcoming release of the record is doubly satisfying,” he says.
Helping bring the group’s vision to life on Doyle’s new albumwas acclaimed producer Bob Rock. A Vancouver native that in his four decades in the music business has not only been a performer with new wave rock band The Payolas, Rock has also been at the production helm of multi-million selling albums from the likes of Metallica, Michael Buble and more.
“I have a feeling this album of ours just might be Bob’s big break,” Doyle says, laughing.
While the notion of bringing in a producer that’s arguably best-known for his work with heavy metal artists might seem like an artistic mismatch on the surface, Doyle insists Rock is far closer to the folk world than what people may first believe.
“It’s a little known fact, but the Payolas first go was as a Celtic band. Bob and [Payolas’ co-founder] Paul [Hyde] were really drawn to folk and traditional music, and it remains at the heart of everything [Bob] does today. In fact, it was while we were in the studio making this record that he and I had the most fascinating conversation about how Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ is, at its heart, a fairy-tale folk song.”
According to Doyle, what amazed him the most in working with Rock was the producer’s lack of pretention both inside and outside of the studio.
“Not only is Bob incredible in terms of his musicality and the wealth of knowledge that he has, it’s amplified by the fact that he still has this air of innocence to him, that he seriously can’t believe he gets to make a living from working with bands in the studio.
“It was just so genuinely heartening to see a guy that continues to be so in-demand that still has his head on the ground.”
Although fans will have to wait a few months yet to hear A Week At The Warehouse in its entirety – the album’s first single “Summer Summer Night” is out now – the fall season, and the release of the record, can’t come soon enough for Doyle.
“This album is a special little snapshot in time where all the stars aligned for us. I can’t wait to share it with the world,” Doyle says.
What: Alan Doyle with The Glorious Sons, Coeur de Pirate, Bois Joli
When: Saturday July 1, 4 p.m.
Where: Assomption Blvd., Downtown Moncton
Admission is free and open to all ages