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From a musical family in Dublin, Johnís influences include well known English folk singers Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, and The Watersons; Scottish singers Dick Gaughan and John Martin; and fellow Irishmen Paul Brady and Al OíDonnell as well as his father, Sean Doyle - probably the biggest influence of all.
John went on the road as a pro at 16 with the group Chanting House which he formed with Susan McKeown. He went on to form the highly acclaimed super group, Solas, with Seamus Egan, John Williams, Karan Casey and Winifred Horan. Solas took the folk and Celtic music worlds by storm, in no small part due to Johnís powerhouse rhythmic guitar style and innovative arrangements and the bandís self-titled first album was nominated for a Grammy.
After leaving Solas, John went on to perform and tour with many of the most notable names in the Folk, Celtic and Bluegrass worlds - He featured on Tim O'Brienís 2006 Grammy-award winning CD, Fiddlerís Green amd also accompanied Linda Thompson, Kate Rusby, Cathie Ryan as well as performing on countless recordings as guitarist and/or singer for other notable artists such as Kate Rusby, Alison Brown and Karan Casey.
In recent years, John has gained major prominence in the Celtic and Folk worlds in duos with Chicago fiddler Liz Carroll (their recording, "Double Play" received a 2010 Grammy nomination for "Best Traditional World Music Record"); as Karan Casey and John Doyle; as McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle (with the greats Michael McGoldrick and John McCusker); and as 1/3 of the stella trio "The Teetotallers" with Martin Hayes and Kevin Crawford. 2008-2010 saw John on the road with the legendary Joan Baez as her music director and guitarist and he has been a regular feature of the aclaimed Transatlantic Sessions house band in both the televised and touring form (under the watchful eye of Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas)
With the release of John's most recent solo recoding, "Shadow and LIght" in 2011, his significant talents as songwriter and singer are finally coming to the fore. Impossibly in demand in the studio and on the road, immensely talented and blessed with an acute ear, a wicked sense of rhythm and seemingly endless bag of guitar playing techniques, John has firmly established himself as one of the most versatile, creative and prolific voices in folk and traditional Irish music.