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.
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.
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.
For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it.
Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest. Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals’ music documentary strand on BBC 2) – there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn’t played.
He’s a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.