Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Jessica Carreras
Ann Doyle won’t deny it: She loves Michigan. Just don’t get her started on Los Angeles.
“Nothing is real in L.A.,” she gripes. “Not even the trees.”
While many people leave the mitten and never return, the 50-year-old Doyle, an Ann Arbor native and 30-year veteran of the southeast-Michigan music scene, is always anxious to get home. Doyle’s love for her home state is evident in songs like “Northwest Flight 332,” the first song on her 2004 release, “Ready to Move.”
“That song speaks to my heart more than many,” Doyle says of “Northwest,” which was written after spending a week in L.A. “As far as I go and as much as I travel, I am Michigan-born and bred. … It’s home to me.
“The older I get, the more I realize that.”
Just this year, “Ready to Move” was released on iTunes, giving Doyle never-before-experienced national exposure. “So far, so good,” she chirps of the response.
Written and recorded all within the span of a year, “Move,” the sophomore album to her 1999 debut “I’m Not Walking Away,” was what Doyle calls “the most exciting musical journey I’ve ever experienced.”
A seasoned singer/songwriter, Doyle always has been based out of Ann Arbor and plays the majority of her shows – including one at 8 p.m. on Jan. 16 – at The Ark with her pianist, Doug Howell. Though she’s traveled out-of-state to perform in Chicago and at various festivals, most of her fans are fellow Midwesterners.
This month’s show marks an annual tradition for Doyle, who gets together with Howell and drummer Danny Cox every winter to put on the only show of the year where the three artists perform together. This year, however, she will share the stage with L.A.-based songstress Lindsay Tomasic. “I don’t normally share an evening with anyone,” Doyle admits. “But the idea sounded so fun that we just thought we’d go ahead and do it.”
Attending fans can expect a hearty reunion performance from Doyle and Tomasic, a Michigan native whose songs have been featured on “Desperate Housewives” and “The L Word.” Of course, the night will celebrate both Doyle’s love of the Midwest and her and Tomasic’s other greatest love: Chicks. “There’s no doubt about it,” Doyle says of her music. “They’re so clearly songs written by women, about women.”
She admits that both she and Tomasic have experienced love’s triumphs and have had their fair share of heartaches – many leading to songs telling of such. But others, like “Blue Moon,” which relives an amorous evening Doyle spent with a woman, are about love’s happier moments. The set list for The Ark gig will consist mainly of old favorites from Doyle’s two albums, peppered with some new material Doyle and Howell have been creating.
The most memorable part of the night, Doyle promises, will be the collaborations with Tomasic, which will take up a good part of the concert. “I believe that people who like me will like Lindsay – and people who like her will like me,” she says.
In any case, Doyle insists that new and old, gay and straight fans alike will enjoy themselves. “I feel that people have a lot of fun at my shows,” she adds.
Much of Doyle’s following is part of southeast Michigan’s gay community, which she embraces – and plans to celebrate twofold with Tomasic. “It’s definitely an evening celebrating love as it happens in all forms,” she says, noting that her pianist, Howell, also is gay.
“It’ll be a fun, winter gay night on the town.”
But, despite her deep connections to the LGBT community and love of Michigan, she insists, “I am absolutely a songwriter above and beyond anything else in this lifetime.”
The rest, she swears, is all coincidence.