Five Questions with Eliza Doyle

Photo Credit: Lisa Landrie

Eliza Mary Doyle took some time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us! She is about to take off on tour in support of her new release, It Ain’t What It Seems. See dates below, and be sure to check out her new video for “Nothin’ To Lose”:

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Eliza Mary Doyle, and I am a clawhammer banjo player from Saskatchewan who has been traveling across Canada, Europe and the United States for the past 15 years with various bands; The Cracker Cats, The Hard Ramblers and The Midnight Roses. I began playing the banjo by busking on the streets of Saskatoon while I was in university, then took to traveling and busking my way across Canada, quickly progressing to playing in bands and touring. In-between all the touring and the bands, I got a Bachelor of Education degree, and taught at an alternative high school for at-risk youth working within the addictions, counselling  and music therapy programs.

Tell us a bit about 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.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

I have a bunch of shows coming up or that have already been performed, depending on when folks are reading this interview. Beginning on October 11th, I started a 20 show CD Release tour that heads out to Edmonton, up through Prince George, down to Vancouver and the Islands, then loops back through the Kootenays, Calgary, and ends in Winnipeg on October 18th. My performance is one that goes from a full-on party to gentle intimate melodies in a tornado of emotional synchronicity. It is entertaining, and full of stories you didn’t know you wanted to hear. I’m traveling with 2 gals that play upright bass, guitar and mandolin. I love collaborating with local musicians and will get them up to jam on pedal steel, drums, electric guitar, harmonica or fiddle. Or maybe even the sitar if I ever meet a sitar player!

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Jeeze louise! That is such a hard question! It’s like asking me to name my one favourite musician, or my one favourite person in the whole world! This album is a diverse collection of many different types of songs and styles, so it makes it hard… I would have to say Nothin’ To Lose, because I absolutely love the work Lucas Geotz did with the pedal steel on that song. It creates a specific feeling that is hard to pin down when mixed with the banjo.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

Usually my music collection consists heavily of musicians and artists I have met along the way and are not only fantastic musicians, but also fantastic people. Currently I’m rocking out to Kacy and Clayton, Slocan Ramblers, Anne Louise Genest, Foggy Hogtown Boys, All Day Breakfast Stringband, Viper Central and In With The Old.

Connect with Eliza Mary Doyle:
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