ALAN DOYLE of Great Big Sea (St. John’s, NL)

ALAN DOYLE of Great Big Sea (St. John’s, NL)

Alan Doyle’s hometown of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, is a small fishing village surrounded by high hills and steep cliffs, and is divided by a fast running river, which flows into the open sea. Near his childhood house a small bridge not only bridged the river, but also the Catholic and Protestant sides of the town. The grandparents remember a time when you’d dare not cross the bridge, but for the community’s children in Alan’s day, it was a hangout and a place to dream of what the big world must be like over the hills and far away. It was here perched upon its stone wall Alan learned many of his first life lessons; first and foremost that, while Petty Harbour would always be where he belonged, with the ocean for a front yard, there were few limits on where he could go.

Alan left home as a teenager and moved to Newfoundland’s capital, St. John’s, where 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.  In 1993, he joined forces with fellow pub warriors Sean McCann, Bob Hallett, and Darrell Power; and together they started Great Big Sea, in which they fused traditional Newfoundland music with their own pop sensibilities. 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 national musical treasure for a generation, their nine albums and two DVD releases have been declared Gold or Platinum and have sold a combined 1.2 million copies in Canada.

When not occupied with GBS duties, Alan 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. He has also 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. With the release of Boy On Bridge, Alan adds another dimension to his career: that of solo artist.