I recently had the privilege in meeting and photographing the wonderfully talended folk musician Eliza Doyle. Let me tell you... if you haven't listened to her music and you feel like something different.... give this amazing sound a try. I had the chance to ask her a few questions about her music journey so join me and find out all you need to know about Eliza Doyle.
1) Where were you born?
I was born in Saskatoon, Sk and the City Park Hospital.
2) What city do you call home and where do you love to travel too?
That is a very tough question! As a person who travels a lot, and who has lived in many different cities, it’s hard to know where exactly your home is. Currently I’m living outside of Saskatoon in a tiny house. I would say Saskatoon is my home for now, although I’m not there very often as I love to travel! love to travel everywhere! I’ve be working on a program called “Bridging Communities” that works with northern towns and to put on workshops in schools to help bring aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities together through music. I love traveling northern Saskatchewan and Canada. I also just got back from a trip down south in North Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana, and that was absolutely amazing. I’d like to spend more time in West Virginia and Tennessee, but also explore more areas of Europe, and more of our own great country.
3) What inspires you to write a good song?
I take a special interest in people’s lives, and specifically in their untold stories of hardships, trials, and tribulations. I take to writing songs that tell stories from their perspective, and it ends up in array of emotions whose outlet is either written on the banjo, dobro or guitar, and this dictates the style the song takes. Anything that has affected me personally on an emotional level seems to garnish a really good song because I identify with it on suchpersonal level.
4) Do you mostly write your own songs?
I am predominately a songwriter, but I also love to take old traditional songs and put a new spin on them! Also, I am blessed to know amazing musicians, and love to do covers of their songs, as there are so many fantastic songs out there that I feel they need to be showcased and celebrated. They speak to the truths of my life so much that I can’t help perform them.
5) What is your music and writing style?
My writing style includes everything from boot stompin’, banjo kickin’, kitchen party tunes to vulnerable, impetuous, heartstrung ballads. I take a special interest in people’s lives, and specifically in their untold stories of hardships, trials, and tribulations. I take to writing songs that tell stories from their perspective, and it ends up in array of emotions whose outlet is either written on the banjo, dobro or guitar, and this dictates the style the song takes.
6) What are your influences?
I was fortunate to come from a musical family and community where my father played banjo, and my mother played fiddle, guitar, and banjo. I was always brought along to hall and wedding dances, and those are some of my earliest memories. Most definitely, the bluegrass music my parents played influenced me, so when I started playing the banjo in university, I felt the songs I grew up with were written into my DNA. Another major thing that influenced me was the first band I was ever in; The Cracker Cats, with Kamila Martel and Melissa Nygren. I joined the group after playing the banjo for only a year, and those two ladies taught me so much about the music business, songwriting and performing. I’ve always been influenced by all the amazing musicians that surround me, and having traveled around Europe and the States, I can say that Saskatchewan is a hot bed for songwriters and roots/folk/bluegrass music that I am excited to be apart of.
7) Do you have a favourite instrument?
Starting out on the banjo, that was my first true love. Rowdy Ralph (my banjo) and I busked our way across Canada a few times, traveled overseas, hung out at the Eiffel Tower, and have had many adventurous escapades over the years. That being said, I’ve recently begun playing the dobro, and the feeling it creates with the open tuning, slide and the finger picks, it is something that the banjo can not replicate. Sometimes I think that is my favourite, but then also there is the sweet melodic guitar that I’ve been writing a lot on recently as well, so again, I can not decide. The winners are the banjo-guitar-dobro, it’s a tie!!
8) Where have you loved playing your music the most?
I enjoy playing music everywhere! Every community I perform for is unique in some way, and I love getting to know the people that make up the audience. I love children’s performing, going to senior centres, rowdy bars, soft seating theatres and festivals. I’ve loved performing in all areas of the world,so it makes it difficult to just pick one.
9) What age demographic loves your music?
It seems the banjo is cross-generational instrument with children loving the brightness and light hearted fun it brings, and older folks reminiscing back to a time when the banjo was a mainstay in most communities. Then as well there is the age demographic that loves Mumford and Sons, so it seem now the type of music I play appeals to people of all ages. The banjo has led a very colourful and interesting life, one that I encourage folks to research!
10) What are your future plans?
I just moved from back to Saskatoon from Swift Current, Sk where I taught at an alternative high school for 6 years. I loved teaching and the community, but the desire to travel and explore was stronger than the pull to stay, so chose to leave. Since then I have recorded the new album and music video, and am creating a business for myself that will hopefully be self-sufficient in the years to come. I plan to release an album a year for the next 3 years, teach banjo and guitar when I’m not on the road, expand the “Bridging Communities” program into new communities, and start substitute teaching in the area when my free time dictates.