Impossibly in demand in the studio and on the road, immensely talented and blessed with an acute ear, a wicked sense of rhythm and seemingly endless stream of magic in his playing, composing, performing and producing, John Doyle is solidly establishing himself as one of the most versatile, creative and prolific voices in folk and traditional Irish music.

In 1994 John Doyle brought his brilliant and innovative guitar stylings to the nascent Irish super-group Solas, which soon took the folk and Celtic music worlds by storm. In the years since going out on his own, John has recorded two solo albums, including Wayward Son, which The Irish Edition hailed as “a contender for Album of the Year;” and has become a highly sought-after accompanist and session player for the likes of Joan Baez, Eileen Ivers, Tim O’Brien, Linda Thompson, Seamus Egan, Alison Brown and Kate Rusby; and has developed compelling duo performances, first with fiddler Liz Carroll and more recently with Solas’ co-founding vocalist Karan Casey. Their new CD is Exiles Return.

From a musical family in Dublin, John was sixteen when he went on the road with Chanting House, a group which he formed with Susan McKeown and which eventually included such great players as Seamus Egan, Eileen Ivers, Donogh Hennessy, and Brian Doyle. The highly influential Solas followed, its success due in no small part to John’s powerful rhythmic guitar. As a member of Solas, John performed internationally to sold out audiences and appeared on many television and radio programs, including NBC’s The Today Show, A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, E-Town and World Cafe. As part of that critically acclaimed group, he also received three NAIRD awards and a Grammy nomination.

John has appeared on soundtracks for feature films The Brothers McMullan and Soldier, as well as PBS’s Out of Ireland. He composed the music for the film Uncle Robert’s Footsteps and the play Down the Flats.

John Doyle
One of the most versatile, creative and prolific voices in folk 
and traditional Irish music.
Performance: Friday
June 1st, 2018, 7:30 PM
What the Critics Say
Listen to His Music

"Doyle on guitar has risen to a level occupied by him alone. No one in Irish traditional music is a better guitarist than him right now. His chops, always assured and adroit, have now entered a rarefied zone of inspired, instinctive, in-the-moment creativity that made me gasp in awe and for breath. In my Wall Street Journal article on him this past March, I described John as one of the world’s best acoustic guitarists. I now think that may be an understatement. In addition, his vocal delivery and his songwriting have never been more impressive, reaching an apogee in “The Arabic,” where his singing and guitar accompaniment (this is really a misnomer: his self-backing and instrumental fills and runs on guitar constituted a tour de force in and of themselves) on his own song were unforgettable. What are they putting in the potable water where John resides that has made him so mind-vaultingly good?"—Earle Hitchner, The Wall Street Journal and the Irish Echo (formerly)

"A complete rhythm section all on his own" —Chicago Tribune

"More talent than anybody deserves to have all to themselves" —Philadelphia News

“Few rhythm guitarists demand the spotlight, but Doyle’s superpowered accompaniment in trad-music settings is a marvel.”—Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, Acoustic Guitar Magazine

What fans say

“John Doyle was amazing, musical and magical tonight. He held us all in the palm of his hands and the time was far too short…”—Becky Almand

“It was a packed house and he was amazing - wonderful singer and picker and so enjoyable the way he weaves stories through his songs. Although all by himself, there was never a dull moment. We were delighted and felt we'd been transported to another place and time.”—Barbara Panter

Guitar Workshop:  4:00–5:00 PM