Back to All Events


John Doyle.jpg

Originally from Dublin, and a longtime resident of Asheville, NC in the 

heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, John Doyle is

a compelling singer and songwriter; producer; multi-Grammy nominee;

and an extraordinary master of the Irish guitar whose singular percussive

style has influenced a generation of players. A founding member of the

acclaimed group Solas, John’s guitar sound took the traditional music

world by storm and has likely forever influenced the role of guitar in Irish

music. John regularly performs solo, in duos, groups and has been the

choice guitarist for the likes of Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Linda

Thompson, Jerry Douglas, The Alt, Usher's Island, Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers,

Tim O’Brien, Michael McGoldrick and John McCusker, Alison Brown, Mick

Moloney, Kate Rusby and a host of other world class performers in America

and abroad. John’s duo recording, Double Play, with the great Chicago

fiddler and previous National Heritage Fellowship recipient, Liz Carroll,

received a 2009 Grammy Nomination for Best Traditional World Album.

That same year, John and Liz performed for President Obama, Vice-

President Biden and Congress. John has been featured on over 130

recordings of traditional Irish, folk, old time, and bluegrass music, many of

which he produced, including 2016 National Heritage Fellowship recipient

Billy McComiskey’s Outside the Box. He has performed at every major folk,

bluegrass, and Irish festival in the U.S., Canada and Europe, some many

times over as well as NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, E-Town,

Mountain Stage, and World Cafe.


John is a great lover of traditional song, an encouraging and enthusiastic

teacher, and his nearly non-stop schedule of touring, producing and

recording attests to his high standing in the world of traditional Irish and

American music. From a family of musicians in Dublin and Co. Sligo, and

having been exposed to traditional music as a young teen through his

grandfather, father and uncle, all of whom were musicians, and John’s roots run

deep in collecting songs and tunes. His influences include Arty McGlynn,

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady as well as the great impact of his musical elder

family members. Having been long established as the premier guitarist in

traditional Irish and Irish/American music, John’s 2011 solo cd, Shadow

and Light is a showcase for John’s acclaimed talent as a songwriter in the

traditional genre. He has the rare ability to pen new songs that for all the

world, sound decades or hundreds of years old and are well on their way to

becoming standards in the Irish folk canon. He makes seemingly ancient

subjects such as the Irish experience of deportation, war on the battlefields

of old, ship disasters, and unrequited love seem riveting and relevant.

John’s reputation as a generous, patient and encouraging producer of new

and established artists alike often finds him at the helm of several recording

projects at once. Likewise, he commits himself to several weeks of teaching

yearly in his efforts to encourage young and older players alike and his

classes are consistently sold out.

Though he could no doubt play and record with any of the world’s best

acoustic musicians, and often does, John’s heart is always in the traditional

music of Ireland and its diaspora in America and beyond.


“Mr. Doyle, whose solo artistry draws impressively from heart and hearth.”

Earle Hitchner, Wall Street Journal


“It is not often that a single artist defines a genre, but then there is John

Doyle and Traditional Irish music to consider. “ R.J.Lannan, TradConnect


“John Doyle is as much a story teller as a musician, and he’s masterful at

both.” Neil Mcfadden, Folk and Roots Magazine


“John Doyle can thrill with his crisp dexterity or break your heart with a moving

ballad. ….his songwriting has grown to match his musicianship.” iTunes