Folk singer from Belfast, Prince Edward Island, Canada, whose repertoire is built on a strong affinity to that settlement’s Celtic roots, mingling traditional songs with her own original compositions. She got her start in music in 1982, as an a cappella performer of traditional material from the Atlantic Canada region. She has subsequently gone on to appear in many folk festivals throughout her native territory and Europe. However, in the 90s such performances were confined mainly to weekends, as she concentrated on running her organic farm in partnership with her husband back in Belfast. Doyle made her recording debut in 1987 for her own Bedlam Records with Prince Edward Isle Adieu, which introduced her bold, slightly irreverent but always heartfelt treatment of the folk songbook. Forerunner took its theme from ‘a symbolic event preceding a death’, and actively explored the sort of amateur folklore investigated by Doyle’s father in her youth. Songs such as ‘Haul The Jib’ concerned a ghost boat, while ‘Iridescent Blue’ was the colour of dress worn by the song’s ghost. Recorded in Montreal, the musical cast included former Tailor’s Twist members Kim Vincent on fiddle and Jon Goodman on Irish pipes. Her third album, 1993’s Stowaway, was a collection of songs based on the experiences of the Micmac people and the early settlers, the title track derived from the story of a Scottish woman emigrating to Prince Edward Island in the early nineteenth century. Shunned by her own people, she was adopted by the local Micmacs, learning their herbal secrets until she could return to her original community as a healer. A fine example of the way Doyle sources her songs to written folklore, producing something quite new, rather than simply relying on folk’s existing repertoire. She also spent hours of study learning Gaelic with the Rev. Gael Matheson in Caledonia so that she could sing the words to songs such as ‘Eilean An Aigh (Isle Of Content)’ as they were originally written. The album saw her assemble a full backing band. Produced by Oliver Schroer, who also assisted on vocals, the line-up featured the expert penny whistle and flute of Northern Ireland’s Loretto Red-Tahney, guitarist Ray Montford, bass player David Woodhead (of Stan Rogers fame), drummer Rich Grenspon, harmonica player Carlos Del Junco, trumpet player David Travers-Smith and Keith Murphy on keyboards and accordion. Doyle also completed a tour of Japan, culminating in a performance at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.
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