As lead singer and guitarist for the Canadian folk rock group Great Big Sea, Alan Doyle created a specific sound that borrowed from Celtic traditions and rock and roll as well as traditional sea shanties that created a massive audience, both in Canada and the U.S. With Great Big Sea now officially retired, Doyle has continued the tradition on his own, with a brand new record released in 2015.
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Alan Doyle joined forces with a like-minded Celtic folk group called Rankin Street in 1992, and renamed themselves Great Big Sea. Their close-knit harmonies and hard-driving Celtic rock style soon began making waves in Canada, with Warner Canada signing the band and releasing their debut record. For the next twenty years, they became one of the most popular Canadian acts, recording twelve records (several going multi-platinum) and receiving several Juno nominations in the process.
During his time in Great Big Sea, Doyle also got involved in films acting in a number of movies (including Robin Hood and A Winter’s Tale), aided in part by his friendship with the actor Russell Crowe, for whom he co-wrote and produced several tracks of the star’s musical side project.
Music remains his main passion however, and Doyle released his first solo album Boy on a Bridge in 2012 to wide acclaim. Doyle’s solo career now has become the focus, especially as Great Big Sea has now officially retired in 2015. Having formed his own band, Doyle continues in the same Celtic maritime vein, but now with added elements of Americana and country rock. His second solo effort, So Let’s Go was released in 2015, and was followed by a large North American tour.