Alan Doyle brings the kitchen party to Chilliwack

'I always want people to have the greatest night of their life when the house lights go down,' says the lead singer of Great Big Sea.

It's going to be a helluva kitchen party when Alan Doyle hits the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 7 with his band the Beautiful Gypsies.

It's going to be a helluva kitchen party when Alan Doyle hits the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 7 with his band the Beautiful Gypsies.

It’s going to be a helluva kitchen party when Alan Doyle hits the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on March 7 with his band the Beautiful Gypsies.

The rousing title track of his new solo album, So Let’s Go, is his own personal call to action for everyone to live their lives fully.

“Time is really short,” Doyle tells the Progress, in a revealing phone interview.

He’s the lead singer of Great Big Sea, of course, and has also enjoyed stints as TV actor, producer, solo artist and now bestselling author.

Doyle feels very blessed to do what he does, and is excited to return to the West Coast including the gig at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

“I can’t wait!” he says gamely.

He launches into a rambling tale about the last time he was in Chilliwack with this guy who lived in Kelowna and dug agricultural ditches by day.

“It was the first time I was ever in B.C.,” remembers the musician who was born in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland.

“I remember seeing fields, it must have been corn. It was a huge adventure.”

Doyle is making media calls in advance of the North American So Let’s Go concert tour and waxing philosophical from the back of his tour bus in Montreal.

What does he mean, when he says, ‘so let’s go’?

“There’s all this stuff you want to do, or that you wished you did, or that you have always wanted to get done that you haven’t done.

“And I mean that time is short over the course of a life time, over a course of a semester, over course of a day, over a course of a minute,” he says dramatically.

“So let’s go. You know, it’s like, go on b’y kiss ‘er.”

The upbeat ‘so let’s go!’ theme runs throughout his second solo effort.

He talked about what it was like laying down tracks at Tawgs Salter studio in Ridgeway, Ontario, where they “make some of the best pop sounds anywhere.”

They made the record, he explained, by wrapping that “big pop sound” around his tiny “folk things,”  the music he coaxes out of everything from his trusty acoustic guitar to bouzouki and more.

Listening to the album, that recognizable voice comes streaming through.

“I have no voice but my own,” he admits.

Several weeks into the tour with his band of Beautiful Gypsies (Cory Tetford, Kendel Carson, Shehab Illyas, Todd Lumley, and Kris MacFarlane) and they’re getting tight:

“Over the duration of the three-week run, the new tunes left the front of our brains and went into the muscles of our hands and feet and mouths.

“I love it when a new tune can be delivered without spending any energy remembering it.”

Doyle formed Great Big Sea in 1993 with Sean McCann, Bob Hallett, and Darrell Power, to fuse traditional Newfoundland music with their own pop sensibilities.

Their nine albums, double-­disc hits retrospective, and two DVD releases have been declared gold or platinum and have sold a combined 1.2 million copies in Canada.

Adept at drawing a crowd, Doyle has been blowing away crowds on tour.

“I always want people to have the greatest night of their life when the house lights go down,” he says.

“I’ll be playing some stuff from new album, and some from the first album, Boy on Bridge, and some tunes from the Great Big Sea catalogue too.

“It paints a well rounded picture of my musical life.

“It’s going to be a great kitchen party and a great night out.”

Alan Doyle Let’s Go NA Tour, March 7, at the Cultural Centre, 604-391-7469

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