Doyle ready for ‘homecoming’ concert at Lyric Theatre
You can’t blame Eliza Doyle for feeling right at home on the Lyric Theatre stage.
Doyle and her Heartstrings bandmates will be hosting a CD Release concert at the Lyric Theatre on Sept. 13, and she definitely will not be experiencing stage jitters during her first performance on stage since returning to the community to work.
Music has been an important part of Doyle’s life since she left to pursue her education degree after graduating from the Swift Current Comprehensive High School in 2000.
Doyle was a member of Saskatchewan sensations The Cracker Cats, she performs in the duo The Moonshine Misses, and her last show in Swift Current was back on June 12 with The Hard Ramblers and the Moonshine Misses. Her musical opportunities have literally taken her coast-to-coast plus on a European tour, along with numerous festivals and over 500 concert dates.
As the banjo player and vocalist for Heartstrings, while her touring committments have slowed, her passion for music continues to burn brightly.
“With the Cracker Cats we did a lot of touring. We were always on the road – across Canada, we went over the Europe, and we just played quite a lot. With Heartstrings, we don’t really move around as much. We do tour, but it’s not three months at a time.”
“It’s less about hitting the road, it’s more about playing almost more locally with this group.”
Heartstrings are touring, at a more leisurely pace, in support of their second release, In A Land Far Away that Is Fair. The debut CD release concert was held in conjunction with the Northern Lights Bluegrass Festival in mid August, and this will be the fifth location where they are unveiling their new material.
Heartstrings, described as Saskatchewan’s five-piece super-alt-country-roots group, feature some of the province’s best traditional bluegrass musicians: Doyle, Melissa Nygren, Joey Lorer, Lucas Goetz, and Jody Weger.
“It will be kind of an eclectic mix of down-to-earth, folky, bluegrass, country songs,” she said of what people can expect during their upcoming show.
On their latest release, Doyle handles lead vocals on four songs she wrote for the CD (Water Into Wine, Molly Brown, Boys In The Street, plus Finland Woods).
Her Moonshine Misses and Cracker Cats bandmate Nygren wrote five of the other six songs on the release and handles those lead vocals. The only cover version on the CD is the classic country song Amelia Earhart written by Red River Dave McEnergy.
Doyle notes she has been playing the banjo since 2001, making a radical departure from the trombone she played in the SCCHS music program. Admittedly, her parents are both musical, with her father playing the banjo and her mother playing fiddle.
“I was 19 when I started playing banjo. I didn’t get any training from them, but I already had the music in my mind because I grew up around bluegrass music and country music. When I started playing I picked it up really fast.”
She busked her way across Canada in 2003, playing her banjo, accompanied by a friend on the mandolin. By 2005 she was touring with the Cracker Cats, touring in Europe and playing at festivals across Canada.
“The banjo isn’t a fairly common instrument, so many times at parties I’m the only banjo player around. It would be really nice to meet more clawhammer banjo players.”
“It’s more of that mountain, Appalachian kind of style.”
Advance tickets for their Sept. 13 8 p.m. show are available at Pharmasave. Minors are welcome, accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $15 for adults. 12 and under free. $10 for students or lowincome. Tickets at the door.
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