Alan Doyle, former frontman of Great Big Sea is heading out to Red Deer Feb. 23rd to perform at the 2019 Canada Winter Games at the 52° North Music and Cultural Festival.
“I dearly love Red Deer. I’ve got lots of long history in Red Deer because we used to go play there all the time in the early 90s with Great Big Sea,” said Doyle in a recent chat with the Express.
His recent album A Week at the Warehouse, is recorded live off the floor.
“I wanted to write songs that were really reflective of the concert and we’ve had all the influences of the Newfoundland traditional music and the influences of country and rock n’ roll and to really just have it like a record that’s fun to listen to live.”
And Doyle said his album really came from a desire to make a record that represented his live show with his band.
“They’re an incredible band to sing with every night. I look around the stage and I can’t believe my luck.”
The lead single on the album is Summer, Summer Night, a Celtic country song about summer nights in Petty Harbour, a little fishing town where he’s from according to a release.
Somewhere in a Song, another cut on the album,delves into some of Doyle’s history – a tribute to his parents.
Doyle said he didn’t realize until he was an adult that his family had been poor. The opening line of the song is one Doyle heard his father say when someone asked how the elder Doyles had gotten together.
“My father said, ‘That’s simple I suppose, she could play and I could sing.’ It’s a simple homage, a celebration of my mom and dad’s attitude that you spend exactly none of your time worrying about the stuff you don’t have and exactly all your time making the most of what you do have.”
Looking back over his career, he counts himself lucky.
“When Great Big Sea stopped playing I sort of wondered if people were even prepared to see me in any other context and it was such a great release. I was so grateful to see that people still wanted to come out and hear some songs from Newfoundland, some Great Big Sea songs and hear some of my songs,” he said.
And when touring in Canada, Doyle sure is used to the cold weather as it’s all he knows.
“I love the people and I love that it’s our own place and it’s our own home,” he said about his homebase of Newfoundland, adding that he feels as though it’s a wonderful addition to the mosaic of Canada.
Doyle will perform Feb. 23rd at the 52° North Music and Cultural Festival at the Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza at 5205 48th Ave. in downtown Red Deer. Other performers include Bif Naked, Brett Kissel, Scott Helman among others.
“No matter what the season it’s always a super fun way to connect with Canadians and it’s great to see the families and the young athletes having such a great time. It’s also cool to get to jam with some other people I haven’t seen in a while.”