By Andreea Moore with notes from Tracy Creighton
pics by Tracy Creighton of Copperblue Photography and Design
*Clayton Linthicum performs at DoyleFest
DoyleFest was the brainchild of Eliza Doyle. It originally started as a way to celebrate her birthday with a slight twist. Doyle spent time working in Stanley Mission and other underserved communities in Northern Saskatchewan in 2019 and 2020. Doyle Fest being moved to a regional park allowed for a wider audience including families. Being more inclusive to families touches on the roots and base for the funds raised by the festival. The CAMP program developed by Doyle stands for Culture Arts Mentorship Program. It is a program that brings so much more than just music to the Community of Stanley Mission. With more funding and time the project is going to expand to other communities. This program has been granted funding by various grants and is partnership with SaskMusic and the Creative Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Doyle is a remarkable individual that one would and/or could easily mistake as a mythical figure of bluegrass legend. Doyle’s career spans decades and her work in the communities has truly inspired a momentum of positive action. In this post, post apocalyptic “mad max” style pandemic filled world we now occupy this positive momentum that Doyle has inspired has truly made an impact on the life of this journalist. The works of organizations such a GRC Saskatoon, GRC Regina , PHR and Out Saskatoon come to mind.
But what about the music is what you, the readers, are itching to hear. As with every year the lineup to Doyle fest is so screaming hot one could probably boil a kettle and make a press of 1.75L of smooth luxurious coffee. Blackstar is a trio that had their first official show together at the festival. Consisting of Melissa Kathleen, Terri Bear Linklater and Brenda Mcknight, Blackstar is a fantastic acoustic trio. Whist speaking to Kathleen she stated how amazingly welcoming everyone at the festival was, and how friendly everyone was. The set was about 30 minutes long and it went really great.
Kathleen plays a widely popular pop punk style, early 2000’s nostalgia that sparks joy as well as a fresh solo project. A lot of excitement and career momentum follows this artist; Doylefest just happened to just barely touch the surface. There happen to be two other projects that Kathleen is in the, both cover bands. One being a cover band of the Queen and the other being a cover band of Women of Rock. All and all Kathleen is a highly talented individual who is versatile, charismatic, enchanting and enlightened. One might say she lives on a higher plain of existence; the energy she radiates is just fantastic.
Beyond musical goals Kathleen is an avid advocate for animal rights and lives a plant based lifestyle, which gives this journalist more love, connection and admiration for this artist. These issues are of great importance, and go hand in hand with the growing climate change problem.
Another standout act that is notable is Clayton Linthicum, formerly of Clayton and Kacey fame. He was joined by his wife Lauren on fiddle. Later in the set Kacey joined as well so it was definitely a good time. Linthicum is known for a distinctly entrancing hypnotic quality. Combine that with an old-timey voice that seems to break the layers of being timeless and being post, post modern. Definitely worth a listen and checking out. The nostalgia factor is reminiscent of Carter and Cash and other earlier country legends that came before. Linthicum has been interacting with the CFCR fundraisers for as long as this writer can remember. Pair that with passion and long dedication to the craft of songwriting.
Standout performers of DoyleFest inspire community and are highly active in the scene. The Saskatchewan music community is strong, passionate and engaged in the communities around them. It seems that each Artist’s narrative is a reflection of not only the musical journey but the narrative that got them to that place. The causes that they support carry weight in their hearts and souls, and bury so deeply into their bones that they leech radioactive materials long after death.