Alan Doyle always loved the spotlight. Although he was inclined to be the leader in anything he did, there was no place for a singer or guitar player in the Petty Harbour, NL school band, so he learned drums, all the better to make the maximum impact.
He was just a teenager when he left home and moved to Newfoundland’s capital, St. John's. Although Alan pursued a BA in English and religion at Memorial University, music was his real passion. He honed his performing skills as a solo artist in the city’s pubs, standing on miniscule stages, belting out folk songs and the classic rock for the rowdy patrons. It was a rough musical education, but one from which he graduated with honours, developing the thick skin, utter fearlessness and iron larynx needed to go with his natural talent. In 1993, he joined forces with fellow pub warriors Sean McCann, Bob Hallett, and Darrell Power, and together they started Great Big Sea, where they fused Newfoundland traditional music with their own pop sensibilities.
Doyle assumed the role of lead singer, and the band-mates began to assault the music business from their Newfoundland base. 19 years later, the band continues to astonish crowds around the world with their energy, musical skill and an ingrained inability to take themselves too seriously. A major band in Canada for a generation, their nine albums and two DVD releases have been declared Gold or Platinum. In the United States they are considered a major concert attraction, and play sold out theatres and hockey arenas across the continent.
In his spare time, Doyle is much in demand as a producer, arranger and general musical catalyst, having produced albums for actor Russell Crowe and Juno Award winners The Irish Descendants, among others, and furnished soundtracks for the movie Young Triffie's Been Made Away With, the television series Hatching, Matching & Dispatching, and for a best-selling Nintendo DS video game. In 2010 Alan joined his friend Russell Crowe onscreen, utilizing his acting skills in the role of troubadour Allan A’Dayle in the Universal blockbuster Robin Hood.
With the release of Boy On Bridge, Alan enters a new phase of his career. After almost 20 years with Great Big Sea, he is stepping out on his own.
Boy On Bridge gave Alan a chance to finally delve into his love of country music and more classic rock and roll sounds. Fresh from their success with artists like Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood, Sampson and Verges helped create the modern country of “I've Seen A Little”, while Nashville up-and-comer Ryan Tyndall co-wrote “My Day”. The blues shouter “Testify” was co-written by Russell Crowe, and then recorded with guitar hero Colin James in Vancouver. “Northern Plains” features two famous collaborators – written and produced by Hawksley Workman, it features the inimitable Jim Cuddy on background vocals. Alan went to Los Angeles to work with his friend Mike Post, the musical wizard behind the Law & Order theme and countless other soundtracks. Among other fine moments, these sessions produced the heartfelt “The Rules Will All Be Broken”.