Singer / Songwriter / Environmental Activist TJ Doyle talks about the unfortunate state of the world where people are absorbed in the world of advanced technology, but are neglecting others around them, and losing touch with the beauty and splendor of nature. With a childhood that involved moving every two years, TJ found nature was the one constant that he could always turn to. He would sit and stare in a field of plants, or on a cold winter night, look at the moon, and feel the breeze in the trees. “Nature is singular”, says TJ. “ It’s free. It allows us to un-mesmerize ourselves from the duality of the sea-saw world”. TJ’s new album “On the Horizon” is being released on July 7th, 2014, and he will be performing Tuesday June 17th at The Mint in L.A.
TJ grew up surrounded by music from his family, and began taking piano lessons at the age of 5. A year later, he began playing guitar, which became his primary instrument by the age of 10. One of his earliest songs to explore his love of nature was “Art of Nature”. He won a talent show in high school which led to a regular gig of six sets, six nights a week for three years in Indiana. It was there he began to form his own individual musical style. After that, he joined a band in Cincinnati, and then moved to Nashville. Then, he formed his own band in Wisconsin. Eventually, after ten years of working on his sound and writing, he released his first album where he received help from Rock Deadrick (drummer for Tracy Chapman’s band), and bassist David Sutton, who’s studio was used for the recording. Since then, he has continued writing and working with top-notch players and writers.
TJ’s strives to make his music performances very emotive. He aims to engage the audience, and take them along with the music. The sound of his band is an intricate, yet laid- back sound featuring clean electric guitars and narrative-like vocals. His band features Phil Parlapiano on piano, Tad Wadhams on bass, Jamaal Cody on drums, and Mark Bouras on guitar. He also received helped from lyricist Lynda Levy for the “On the Horizon” album. Meredith Valiando assisted with song selection. Tom Weir helped produce the album along with Doyle.
There are currently two videos of songs from “On the Horizon”. One is called “Everything”. This is a love song. TJ says “Love is the biggest thing we have as humans. Like nature, love is singular. When we can capture it and experience it in it’s purest form, it takes us out of duality”. The other video is of the song “Favorite Places”. This is about finding a connection with nature in your favorite place. The place should bring you a certain level of quiet. For TJ, the mountains remain the place that brings him peace, and connect him with nature. Mountain bike-riding is one of his hobbies. He also practices Kundalini yoga. He says that the yoga involves a lot of breathing, helps align chakras, and creates a space around oneself.
Other standout tracks from “On the Horizon” include the title track. This is showing anywhere across the world, certain settings can bring awareness of something deeper, and more meaningful. “Cold Rain” is about the transformative power of nature. “Human” is a plea for being more humane. The entire album evokes a certain mood with the musical landscape, a unified theme, and loosely connected narrative.
In addition to the show at The Mint on June 17th, TJ will be performing with his band on July 13th at The Whisky A Go-Go. He also plans to play some opening slots and summer festivals this year. TJ, along with his band, try to make performances very emtotive, engage with the audience, and take them along in the direction of the music. His current lineup consists of Phil Parlapiano on keyboards, Tad Wadhams on bass, Jamaal Cody on drums, and Mark Bouras on guitar. Backing vocals are provided by Celia Chavez and Jamila Ford, which strengthen the impact of the lyrics. Wadhams and Cody provide a tight backing which propels the music along, and Parlapiano's keyboards add atmosphere to the songs. On top are TJ's clean arpeggiated chords, and Bouras' soaring leads.Their live performances draw the listener in with the sounds, and the message of love and nature linger long after each performance. It's truly something special.