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John Doyle


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John Doyle (b. Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish musician. For four years he served as acoustic guitarist with the Irish/American band Solas, and is also an active solo artist. He has written many traditional-sounding songs and has collaborated with Kate Rusby.

Doyle has also producing credits, as well as performing, on the solo CDs of the singer from Cherish the Ladies, Heidi Talbot’s, Distant Future, on which she sings his composition, “I dream of you”, his current touring partner Liz Carroll’s CDs, and his father Sean Doyle’s CD, The Light and the Half Light. Also Karan Casey, on her solo CD, Songlines, listen to his use of a volume pedal and his acoustic guitar on the song “She is like the Swallow.”

Doyle is a highly accomplished guitarist with a trademark style for backing up other musicians. A left handed player, his style involves the use of bass string damping with the heel of the left hand combined with a constant, metronome-like strumming pattern and nimble movement up and down the neck with the right hand to incorporate bass lines and chordal variations. Combined with other dynamic techniques such as string choking with the right hand, the resulting sound is full and highly rythmical.

Doyle plays guitar in many different tunings, but is perhaps best known for using the ‘Dropped D’ tuning (DADGBE) for backing up other musicians.


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  • Mullington

    Just heard The Gooseberry Bush / The Sailor's Return-brilliant!

    12 Dec 2010 Reply
  • iamkari

    I got to see John Doyle and Liz Carroll in concert in my hometown... and it was easily one of the most impressive live concerts I've ever been to. Doyle is a very charming performer, and he and Carroll have a lovely musical dynamic. I love Doyle's rhythmic guitar playing, and his voice is even more lovely in person than it is on CD. My only regret is that neither of his CDs feature his marvelous version of "Newry Highwayman", which he sang at the concert!

    9 Mar 2009 Reply
  • Falconboy82

    Its sad that the rhythm guitar playing John Doyle gets mixed up here with this "other" guy.

    5 Jul 2008 Reply

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