BY ANNA ROBERTSON HAM
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there are many things that people are missing. Live music, that can be enjoyed in a safe setting, is one of them. During the times of social distancing, concerts have been cancelled, music venues closed and many have yearned for normalcy in the chaos. One local artist wanted to provide the gift of music to his neighbors when he started performing at the end of his driveway back in April. Troy Doherty began his neighborly shows, every Thursday evening, with just his guitar and a handful of neighbors watching. What started a few months ago has now grown into a full on music set of Troy’s original music, along with requested covers, and is enjoyed by over 100 neighbors, guests, friends and family.
“Right when the pandemic hit, I was just coming off two great shows in New York City,” says Troy. “I was feeling great, so I wanted to keep performing. But the real reason why I started doing these Cul-de-sac Concerts was to give back to the community during a time of need. Music is absolutely needed right now. I noticed a lot of people performing on Instagram Live from their bedrooms and my dad mentioned to me how I should perform in the driveway. So, I blended the two ideas. To be honest, I was nervous. I didn’t think anyone was going to show up. Then after a few weeks, people were messaging me asking if they could come to the show and I realized that something really special was happening.”
Talent has been a part of this New Jersey native’s life since a young age, as he wanted to become an actor at the age of eleven. “By the time I was fourteen, I had booked some significant roles,” says Troy. Troy took on the role of Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver at the John W. Engeman Theater in New York, Scot Farkus in the world premiere of A Christmas Story: The Musical in Kansas City, and he was the voice of Emory in the Disney show Chuggington. When his voice changed, he began to write music, moved to Los Angeles at fifteen and began booking auditions over the years for roles in New Girl, Mike & Molly, Prime Suspect, Victorious, The Last Ship and This is Us. After following his calling for acting in Los Angeles, Troy was drawn to music in Nashville. “I came to Williamson County last summer for a few months to hang out with my aunt and check out the music scene,” explains Troy. “While I was planning my trip, my music serendipitously fell into the lap of a renowned producer, Marti Frederiksen. After Marti heard some of my music, he wanted to meet. Before long, I was in Sienna Studios down on Music Row recording music.”
Troy says his music style is Pop/Americana. “Like if John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen and Andy Grammer had a baby...it would be me,” he jokes. “I try my best to write songs that bring hope. I know that’s something the world can always use. And for me, music is my outlet. I want the people listening to my music to realize they’re not alone in what they’re feeling, and they’re supported... I’m inspired by many things. From relationships to current events.”
While he brings his talent to his neighbors, he has also had a few guests since starting his shows, including Evan Frederiksen. “From the first day we met, we clicked instantly. He is unbelievably talented and hilarious,” Troy says. “Shaye Leeper was another guest thathas joined me. We met through my manager, Michael Keeling. Shaye has a powerhouse voice and is fun to work with. Most recently a friend of mine, Colin Huntley joined in on the fun. Colin and I met at a writer’s round at Alley Taps. I was floored by how effortlessly he plays the guitar. We met up one day and we got on the subject about the Cul-de-sac Concerts and the rest is history. I plan on having more guests.”
When it comes to the current state of the world and our community, Troy feels it is quite unbelievable. “The world has changed so much in four months. I think being in quarantine helped us realize what is really important,” he explains. “There’s a lot to love about Williamson County. The food, the beautiful farms, but what I really love the most is that everyone treats one another like family. When I moved here I didn’t know anyone except my aunt. I’ve since met so many kind and genuine people.”
For details on Troy, his work and the upcoming shows, go to troydoherty.com or check out @TroyDoherty on Instagram and Facebook.