John Doyle and Mick McAuley’s nearly telepathic musical connection began in the truly groundbreaking Irish-American band, Solas. Now, both have flourishing high profile solo careers and periodically come together to brush off some Solas standards and lots of their individual material, played together, for these magical musical offerings. Both natives of Ireland and each from musical families, John Doyle and Mick McAuley are true powerhouses in traditional Irish music.
John Doyle’s influences include well-known English folk singers Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson and The Watersons; Scottish singers Dick Gaughan and John Martin; fellow Irishmen Paul Brady and Al O’Donnell; and his father, Sean Doyle – probably the biggest influence of all. Having started his professional career at the age of 16, John went on to form the highly acclaimed super group, Solas, with Seamus Egan, John Williams, Karan Casey and Winifred Horan, which took the folk and Celtic music worlds by storm, in no small part due to John’s powerhouse rhythmic guitar style and innovative arrangements. Since then, John’s flourishing solo career, highly regarded solo albums, and in demand studio prowess as producer have made him one of the busiest artists in all of traditional music. He is a Grammy nominated artist for his 2009 recording with fiddler Liz Carroll, “Double Play”, has performed at the White House, was music director for folk music legend, Joan Baez, guitarist for Mary Chapin Carpenter, and has recorded and/or performed with a who’s who of folk, Celtic, bluegrass and old-time music, including Tim O’Brien, Kate Rusby, Eileen Ivers, Karan Casey, Rodney Crowell and Jerry Douglas. John’s original rhythmic and percussive guitar style has been emulated by guitarists all over the world.
Mick McAuley is an Irish musician, composer and songwriter who has recorded and toured internationally for many years. While his music is rooted firmly in the Irish tradition, he has been part of a movement which continues to push the musical boundaries of that tradition to bring Irish music to a wider and more diverse audience around the world. As a long-time member of the Irish-American ensemble SOLAS, he has recorded and toured nine albums with them and received widespread international acclaim. The Boston Herald hailed SOLAS as “the best Irish traditional band in the world”. A multi-instrumentalist, Mick plays accordion, melodeon, concertina, whistles and guitar and been a guest on many recordings and performances including Patti Larkin, Paul Brennan (of Clannad), Susan McKeown and mick Hanly among many others. Most recently, Mick spend many months as accordionist for Sting in his Broadway Production, The Last Ship. Mick’s debut solo album, An Ocean’s Breadth was awarded Best Celtic Album of the Year by The Washington Post.