Doyle returns to Baraboo with new perspective in life, musical style

May 3, 2019

Two years feel like a lifetime to 21-year-old guitarist Dylan Doyle.

His trio performed in May 2017 at the Al. Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, an act dominated by the New Yorker’s impressive but lengthy guitar solos.

They covered the blues, Doyle said. They put on a good show.

“Baraboo should expect a far more mature sound,” he said of their return performance May 11.

Since the band’s last performance here, Doyle released a full-length album, toured Ireland and committed to writing original songs.

“I’ve grown,” he said. “I’m only 21 -- I’m still young -- but I started to feel like I could write about my own life experiences, my own feelings.

“I think people should expect to find a wider range of things to connect to, in the music.”

One example of his songwriting range is “Unify,” the track Doyle described as a “finger-pointing song” about the hate crimes still occurring in America.

Doyle -- who describes his new sound as straight rock ‘n’ roll and sometimes folk rock -- wants to live in a world that someday comes together as one.

On its surface, the song delves into “the political side of things,” the Shullsburg native said, but that’s not really how he views his approach to songwriting.

“It’s more of a feeling,” Doyle said of original songs like “Pleasures of the Damned,” which also is about the social state of the world. “It just seems like we’re all pretty far away from each other. We’re all caught up in something. I think we’re lost from each other, in a way.

Doyle started touring as a professional musician when he was 15, and so his perspective largely is a product of meeting people on the road, he said.

Al. Ringling Theatre Friends board member Bill Greenhalgh, who chairs the board’s programming committee, said anyone who enjoyed Doyle’s performance in 2017 and plans to see him again is in line for an even bigger treat.

Greenhalgh booked Doyle for the band’s performance back in 2017, and he today he takes guitar lessons from Doyle regularly via Skype.

“It’s like taking guitar lessons from Eric Clapton,” Greenhalgh said.

Greenhalgh’s impressed by how quickly Doyle flourished in the role of songwriter, encouraging residents to check out Doyle’s “Live at the Falcon” album on Spotify for the best examples of the musician’s maturity.

“He’s really got his head screwed on straight. He’s very focused,” Greenhalgh said of what the Baraboo audience should expect May 11. “He’s very melodic, very musical, and he can really bring the heat on a moment’s notice.

“He can go from the soft and lyrical to just all of a sudden bringing on a hail storm of intensity in his guitar playing -- the stuff that just knocks people out.”