Courtesy of www.americansonwriter.com – By Britta Dragicevic
At first, it seems an unlikely duo. Russell Crowe, Oscar-award winning actor, and Alan Doyle, frontman for Canada’s uber-popular folk rock band, Great Big Sea. Yet, it doesn’t take much time to realize that the two artists have more in common than not. A passion for music (for those of you who don’t know, Crowe has been a songwriter and fronting bands since he was a teenager), a penchant for giving audiences a hard-partying, memorable experience; and a sensitivity to the details in life that infuse their music with a crystal clarity that rings true to the human spirit.
The two have been writing music together for nearly a decade. But you won’t hear either of them make a splash about it. They released the Crowe/Doyle Songbook, Volume III (ironically, there is no Volume I or II) last August in a MP3 file download format. The album verges hauntingly on poetry and gives a revealing take on a variety of subjects, including an honest account of the toll fame takes on the human soul – something we rarely hear discussed. Not only is the album beautiful musically, but the storytelling is raw and authentic. And it’s that authenticity that makes it – and them – stand out.
Crowe is currently filming Les Miserables, the first time the acclaimed musical has been filmed as a movie, and declined to be interviewed for this article. Alan is in the midst of planning Great Big Sea’s 20th Anniversary tour, releasing his first solo album and keeping pace with a myriad of tasks and tour dates. Despite their schedules, they manage to continue to capture the everyday stories of life in lyric and melody, often via email. With the Crowe/Doyle Songbook, they created a set of songs that goes back to the heart of songwriting, an album that reaches into the human heart, soothes, entertains, and makes us think. All while staying true to their own Story. Not an easy task in a world that adores image and conformity. Alan took some time between tour dates to talk with us.
Alan Doyle’s solo album, Boy on Bridge has just been released. The Crowe/Doyle Songbook, Vol. III is available online via iTunes, Amazon and other online music retailers.