With over a decade of music-making experience under his belt including a notable stint as the front man of UK band The Dumdums, Josh Doyle is reaping the rewards of a slow but steady approach and some well-earned friends in high places: His eponymous solo album (released back in October) is the result of sessions with prominent players Leland Sklar, Matt Chamberlain, Dean Parks and Patrick Warren, and Grammy Award-winning producer John Shanks (Van Halen, Melissa Etheridge), who signed on for recording duties shortly after Josh was named, “the nation’s top undiscovered singer-songwriter” by Guitar Center early this year.


Describe 2012 in one sentence.
At the beginning of this year I was a waiter in an Italian restaurant and by the end, I’m named as someone who “might very well be the “Next Big Thing” by Billboard Magazine… Not a bad year!

Best moment by far?
Playing Jimmy Kimmel Live! was pretty awesome. Second place would be winning Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter — or finding out Leland Sklar, Matt Chamberlain, Dean Parks and Patrick Warren were going to be my band on my debut solo record (laughs). Seriously tough question.

Favorite record this year?
Gaslight Anthem’s Handwritten.

What song proved to be your biggest ear worm?
Call Me Maybe
or Somebody That I Used To Know.

What band did something pretty cool this year that deserves a special nod?
Mumford & Sons came out playing instruments and singing their own songs and crushed the likes of over-marketed One Direction in the U.S. Billboard Charts. That was exceptionally noteworthy.

Fess up: Like Christmas, love Christmas or hate Christmas?
Love it. Always have. It has a lot of romance attached to it it of  being a kid and all the excitement in the air.  I love watching old Christmas episodes of TV shows like, The Wonder Years, Married With Children, Cheers. It’s just a time of the year to be with friends and family and let everyone you care about know it. Also, this is a pretty cynical planet and it’s a good time to go back and look at everything like a kid would. Having kids now,  I think it’s important to get into that mindset and to get a grip on who you were then and who you were now — what you wanted to do with your life, if you are going the right direction. Also, I love to party… Oh yeah.

What’s on the top of your Christmas wishlist?
Not exactly thrilling but I want a bunch of organic throat sprays and stuff to help me to get through next year’s gigs. I tend to get way into my gigs and cane my voice. Also I do love the iTunes Gift Cards and getting loads of apps for my phone. I also love being able to have something to play with — be it a computer game or some studio gear.

If you were to cover a Christmas song, which would it be?
I’ve thought about that and it sucks because every song has been covered a million times. Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne is a good one; Last Christmas by Wham! rocks…and Silver Bells… Didn’t The Darkness do one a few years back? Bands need to be writing new Christmas classics!

Remember Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? Which vocalist’s part would you sing if a 2012 remake was proposed?
Ha! I love the melody line of Boy George’s part; it really kicks the song up a gear: “In a world of plenty…” I would have opted for Paul Weller of The Jam but I can’t quite figure out what he’s singing. I bet everyone says Bono’s part: “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you!” His vocal in that song kicks ass — its like he really believes what he’s singing. I could pull that off too (laughs).

Musical goals and/or resolutions for 2013?
I think in music nowadays, you can only reasonably hope to still be making music for a living by the time next Christmas comes around because it is a privilege — and bands get canned left, right and centre. I aim to make new fans one by one as always. The great thing about this year is that I have come so far from last year and anything is possible. I have just started to gather a bit of momentum when last year I was stagnant. I’m about to pack out a venue in town I couldn’t have even got 1/4 full last year, that means to me that this time next year, it’s reasonable for me to be playing venue the size of the Ryman here in Nashville — so maybe that’s my goal? Also, I’m desperate to get back to England to tour with my band; that has got to happen next year… I need to go write this stuff down!


Josh will be at home in Nashville with his wife and kids on Christmas morning, enjoying some much-needed downtime. To give his self-titled debut LP below as a gift, pick up a copy here.


pixel Good tidings he brings: A Christmas Q&A with Josh Doyle