"According to our ears he could very well be one of those artists that stands by himself musically, a la John Mayer and Josh Groban."
-‘615 Spotlight’ series, Billboard Magazine
"There was just a magic that used to go on, and it still happens on occasion, like I was saying with this Josh Doyle... He came in the studio, and all it was is him playing acoustic guitar – done. No charts, no arrangements or anything. It was so on fire and so great, we cut 10 tracks and did his album. This guy just kept pulling songs – he was writing. Then when the guy sits down to play and we’d say, ‘Well, it’s just a run through,’ every time he opens his mouth, it’s a performance."
-Leland Sklar (Legendary bassist for James Taylor, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne)
"Josh Doyle is the talk of the town right now... you have to see him for yourself."
-Nashville Lifestyles magazine (named Josh to their ’20 Musicians to Watch in 2013' list)
British-born Nashville transplant Josh Doyle is taking the "next big thing" buzz with a dose of humility:
“When people say that kind of thing, a big part of you is saying ‘Man, that is unbelievable, and the other side of you is saying ‘I can’t wait for other people to see this, so I’m not just saying this about myself,” he says with a charismatic smile. “It also encourages me to get better, and leave a mark.”
The UK native has been making these kinds of impressions upon people since his early teenage years. He actually saved his lunch money to buy studio time – at the age of thirteen. His love of music continued through his high school years and into college. It was while attending Chichester University that he founded the group The Dumdums as vocalist and guitarist. Success would come quickly to the group, as their MCA Records debut It Goes Without Saying spawned four top 30 hits in the UK. In addition, their success led to sharing the stage with acts such as Robbie Williams and Bon Jovi.
Their success was huge, but short-lived. The group broke up while working on their follow-up album. He ended up moving from England to Nashville with his wife in 2004, and they lived for a while off of the money Josh earned in the band. After a few years though, Josh was forced to get a job waiting tables. Josh admits he didn’t handle it to well. “It was really hard. My wife made me see a counselor. I think I was just being dramatic, but I was very depressed about it. I actually did an interview where they said ‘What kind of drugs are you into?’ The funny thing was even during the band days, I never got into the drink or the drugs, but it was when I was waiting tables that I started drinking. So, it was hard, but it keeps you humble,” he said.
Looking back, the experience was not all negative. “The thing about going back in and working at the lower end of the pay scale was that you suddenly get ‘it.’ You get life, and what everyone has to struggle with. I was straight out of a university to be a pampered pop star, then into the real world. You got to have credit, you’ve got to pay the bills, and you see how the world thinks. It helps you in writing songs, because you understand where people are coming from in their life. I think a lot of the pop stars just sing ‘ I love you, you love me,’ but it gave me an opportunity to delve down deep into my emotions and get real.”
Even through the difficulties involved in his move to Nashville, it was there that he was inspired to sharpen his writing skills. In February of 2012, Josh was named Guitar Center’s “Top Undiscovered Singer-Songwriter,” helping him land a recording session with John Shanks (Grammy Producer of the Year, 45 #1 singles, 91 #1 albums). Shanks was only supposed to record 4 songs with Josh, but he was so impressed with Doyle’s talent that they recorded 10 songs together in 4 days – creating Josh’s self-titled debut album Josh Doyle (CTK Records/Corporate Ogre Records). “When I heard Josh…I thought he was vulnerable, I thought there was a fragility in his artistry, and there was just something courageous in his writing that I really liked,” Shanks said. He went on “there is just something real and earnest about that experience, when you listen to him, that I responded to.”
How does Josh describe his sound? “I like all kinds of music,” he says. “I always bring up Pearl Jam because I like how Eddie Vedder has the versatility in his voice to do real mellow emotional stuff, and then he can turn it up, scream and get punky. That makes concerts more exciting. It’s not just one pace the whole time. Even people like Cat Stevens would bring the funk up, then take it down. Musically, I come from rock, but I also play mellow stuff. I’m pretty passionate.”
That passion – from sacrificing his lunch money, to playing at the legendary Wembley Stadium, back to waiting tables in Music City, and now to his new resurgence on the music scene – is what has kept him going.
“You have that self-belief, and maybe that’s what gets you through the hard times, as well. When I was in the ‘wilderness’ there were always people who were saying 'this song helped me through this or that.’ There were even fans that got tattoos of my lyrics long after the band split up. When I could see that others were still passionate for me to keep going, those things became stepping stones to get to where I am now.”
Josh's growing reputation as a compelling live performer has not only fanned the flames of the industry buzz but recently led to his first network TV appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS This Morning. His inspiring, "Cinderella Man" story of persistence against the odds has led to an album layered with deep insight and arena-sized hooks. Now teamed up with CTK Management (Dolly Parton), Neil Warnock (CEO, The Agency Group) and Steve Homer (VP, Live Nation UK), the next chapter is bound to be the greatest for Josh Doyle.
Doyle relocated to Nashville and began to traverse a new road. Distancing himself from the music industry, he took a day job. Depression and anxiety had started to overcome him as he faced the doldrums of ‘normal life’ severed from the creative pursuits he’d been inextricably linked to. However, the fans beckoned him back. He received an overwhelming number of requests online to return to music. His rabid fan base, brandishing tattoos of his lyrics and name, let him know how important it was he return. Crafting 2004’s cathartic EP, The End of Fear, he independently released the effort and personally sent each fan that was supporting him a copy. The title track received numerous placements and it galvanized his new endeavor as a songwriter.
Once again in 2009, his fans supported him to the extent that they donated the money to record both Values and Virtues and Middletown two reflective and powerful EPs illuminating his growth as a musician. It was a landmark moment for him as the fan support inspired him to continue writing and more so put him back on the road. His music inspired and resonated with them, and they returned the favor in a big way. After a successful UK tour, he returned to a “Music City” studio and recorded Songs From The Nuclear War Vol. 1 & 2.
After over a decade in the music industry, now as an independent artist, it wasn’t long before he received serious recognition from the mainstream again in 2012. Guitar Center named him “the nation’s top undiscovered singer-songwriter” in the brand’s very first singer-songwriter competition. In front of a packed audience of clamoring fans, he performed his original, “I’ve Figured The World Out”, beating out more than 17,000 entries and receiving a three song EP by Grammy Award-winning producer John Shanks as the competition’s victor. Impressed with Josh’s talent, John decided to seize the moment and, with Guitar Center’s blessing, record a full-length album instead of an EP. Capturing the services of legends old and new, Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Warren Zevon), Matt Chamberlain (Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer), Dean Parks (Elton John, Billy Joel) and Patrick Warren (Fiona Apple, Ray LaMontagne) he has set out to record an album that will no doubt see the same kind of fanatical fan response but now in the mainstream arena.
After continued indie success on his own, he’s now teamed up with CTK Management and Neil Warnock of The Agency Group, and the road in front of him is wide open. With big music business muscle behind him, and the best talent in the world backing him up, the next chapter is bound to be the greatest for Josh Doyle.