Single Review

Alan Doyle – Welcome Home: Single Review

Fresh, vibrant and full of joy.  Newfoundland singer/songwriter and Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle is back, and he’s raring to go.

Release Date:  10th November 2023

Label: Skinner’s Hill Music

Formats: Digital

Hailing from Petty Harbour, Newfoundland, singer/songwriter, musician, producer, actor and author Alan Doyle will probably be most familiar to At The Barrier regulars as the frontman with Canadian folk-rock outfit and purveyors of raucous shanties, Great Big Sea.  That’s not to say that his solo career has been uneventful – his five previous solo albums – most recently 2021’s Back to the Harbour – have all been Canadian chart successes; and it’s looking like 2024 will be another big year in the world of Alan Doyle.

Alan’s new single, Welcome Home heralds the launch of a year of intense activity.  For a start, it’s the title track and first fruit of a new album – expected in early 2024, which, in turn provides the trigger for a marathon 44-date North American tour that kicks off in Kelowna, British Columbia, on 21st February 2024 and runs until mid-May, when it wraps up in Homer, New York. 

Alan Doyle is one of those guys that, over the years, has just about done it all.  During a career of over 30 years, and, in addition to his achievements with Great Big Sea and in the solo arena, he’s co-written and co-produced songs for Russell Crowe and his bands 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God, he’s acted alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett, Kevin Durand, Scott Grimes, Will Smith and Colin Farrell and co-composed TV themes with Mike Post.  And, as if all of that wasn’t enough for one man, he’s also written and released several books, most recently the Canadian bestseller All Together Now: A Newfoundlander’s Light Tales For Heavy Times.

Musically, Alan’s style of preference combines the folk, Irish, Cornish and seafaring influences that are such a feature of Newfoundland’s musical traditions, with more modern pop, Americana and country flavourings.  It’s a breathless, heady, mix, and it works a treat.

And Welcome Home, the new single, is an archetypal example of that musical cocktail.  It’s fresh, it’s vibrant and it’s joyful.  A solid, driving foundation of drums, bass and furious guitar is taken to stratospheric levels by frantic fiddle and ecstatic accordion and the marriage of Celtic themes and Americana is a delight to behold.  Alan’s voice is mature and ever-so-slightly nasal and, if you’re able to imagine, say, Willie Nelson being backed by a smoothed-out version of The Pogues, then you’ll have a good idea what Welcome Home sounds like.  And, when Alan gets around to the chorus: “Welcome home, welcome home – it’s been a long and lonely road, I know,” the joy has no bounds.

There couldn’t be a better harbinger of the forthcoming album – Welcome Home is impossible to dislike; impossible to ignore.  Watch these pages – Welcome Home (the album) will be with us soon…

Get Here’s Welcome Home:

Alan Doyle online: Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / X (formerly Twitter) / YouTube / Spotify

Keep up with At The Barrier: Facebook / X (formerly Twitter) / Instagram / Spotify / YouTube

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