Celtic music fans need no introduction to John Doyle, one of the most influential and important musicians in Irish music today. Doyle premieres "The Rambler from Clare" today at Folk Alley; it's the first track on his May 1 Compass Records album, THE PATH OF STONES. The album's title, inspired by a poem by WB Yeats, is his third solo effort and the follow up to Shadow and Light (2011). THE PATH OF STONES finds Doyle establishing himself as a masterful composer as well as an inspired player. All 11 tracks were written by Doyle and include an engaging and mesmerizing assortment of songs and tunes. Special guests include Rick Epping, Cathy Jordan, John McCusker, Mike McGoldrick, and Duncan Wickel. Through it all, Doyle’s tenor vocals and driving guitar playing are front and center, establishing him as a multi-faceted talent in Irish music with an album that is destined to become a classic in the genre.
“'The Rambler from Clare' is a fantastic song from the 1798 rebellion about a roving rake who eventually joins the United Irishman during the 1798 rebellion,The Year of the French." Doyle told Folk Alley. "In the song, the rambler from Clare eventually escapes to America. I honestly cannot remember where I heard this song first. I changed the melody a little from the original. Some say this is a Northern song and the ‘Clare’ they speak of are townlands in Co. Tyrone, but I tend to believe it’s a Co. Clare song. The lyrics can be found in Colm Ó Lochlainn’s ‘More Irish Street Ballads’."
Doyle first came to international prominance as a founding member of Irish American supergroup Solas in the 1990s, and went on to serve as band leader for the Joan Baez band. Doyle is currently a member of the trio, John Doyle, John McCusker and Michael McGoldrick and the Irish supergroup, Usher’s Island. As a guitarist, he is unparalleled for his harmonic and rhythmic genius.
His instrumental prowess contributed to his 2010 GRAMMY® nomination for "Best Traditional World Music" album for his collaboration with fiddler Liz Carroll on Double Play. In recent years Doyle has emerged as an important singer of Irish music as well; his 2010 collaboration, Exiles Return, with Karan Casey won him critical acclaim and solidified his reputation as a world class interpreter of traditional songs.
The Path of Stones, out on May 1, 2020, from Compass Records