Categories: Entertainment

Good-bye St. Albert, hello Athens

Doug Hoyer.

Say good-bye to Doug Hoyer – at least for a few years.

The St. Albert pop-rock recording artist is moving to Athens, Georgia. His wife is working at a University of Georgia post-doctoral position in urban ecology studying the ibis, a crane-like bird.

She has a two-year contract and Hoyer has no idea if they will be back. For the time being, he is applying for a J-2 visa that allows him to study or work in specific areas.

While south of the 49th, Hoyer plans on writing more songs and scoring videos for friends in Canada.

“I’ve put out numerous albums, but I want to expand and put out music in different ways – podcasts – or trying new things. I want to be more than a singer-songwriter,” Hoyer says.

Oddly enough, he will be enrolled in a long-distance hearing aid practitioner course through MacEwan University.

At first glance, working as a hearing aid practitioner seems diametrically opposed to his current status as singer-songwriter.

But as Hoyer explains it, his father requires a hearing aid and his aunt received a cochlear implant.

“I make music and it would be great to help people hear music.”

Before Hoyer leaves, he is hosting a CD release on Sept. 30 at New Wunderbar Hofbrauhaus on Whyte Ave. His third album, Dream Life, came out Sept. 8, and the 11-track is packed with snapshots of a life well lived.

“When you realize where it’s at, you appreciate the moment. Sometimes where you are at is a pretty good place to be. But you can recognize that you still have some dreams to fulfil.”

Each song locks into a different mood. My Dreams reflects on the simple things whereas Real Problems is a realization that sometimes the only thing you can do for a friend is listen.

Heart Strings talks about small town folks leaving a part of their heart at home when they move to the big city. And You’re Mine, I’m Yours is a humorous love song about compassion in a world where it’s easy to make a fool of yourself.

“In the past, I wrote more quirky things, but this is my most mature album.”

The gig at Wunderbar is Hoyer’s final salute to a community that has nurtured his dreams.

“Right now I’m in a funny place. I’m leaving my community. When I would walk down the street or bike, I was guaranteed to meet someone I knew. I’m a bit sad, but I’m also excited about the future.”

Hoyer, who was also a CJSR morning radio jock for several years, is excited about getting to know Athens’ rich musical history, one that shaped the indie-rock movement with R.E.M., The B-52s and Vic Chestnutt.

“It’s a big hub for music. It’s a university town and there’s a constant influx of young people and new energy.”

Opening for Hoyer at the Wunderbar concert will be Diamond Head and Scenic Route to Alaska. Cover charge is $10.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.