PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Book of Mormon and Jasper in Deadland Actor Matt Doyle Shares His Soul Music Playlist

By Michael Gioia
May 14, 2014

Matt Doyle, who was last seen on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and recently starred in the title role of Off-Broadway's Jasper in Deadland, will make his solo 54 Below debut May 22. In anticipation of the concert, he shares his favorite soul music as part of this week's Playbill Playlist.



Doyle, who has also been seen on Broadway in War Horse, Spring Awakening and Bye Bye Birdie, will offer concerts May 22 at 7 PM and May 24 at 8:30 PM.

According to 54 Below, "Matt is excited to bring an energetic night of his original music, as well as crowd-pleasing pop classics, to 54 Below. Accompanied and arranged by Will Van Dyke, the light-hearted set will feature many songs Matt has always wanted to sing, but never had the chance to."

In anticipation of the solo concerts, Doyle shares one of his favorite musical genres, soul music, with Playbill.com.

Doyle co-wrote the EPs "Daylight" and "Constant" with composer Van Dyke, who will accompany him at 54 Below. The two have played sold-out shows in New York City at venues such as Feinstein's, Joe's Pub and (le) Poisson Rouge.

Read the recent Playbill.com feature with Doyle and Jasper in Deadland co-star Allison Scagliotti.

54 Below is located at 254 W. 54th Street. For more information and tickets, visit 54Below.com.

"These Arms of Mine" (Otis Redding). Come on. This song. The gut and yearning in Otis' voice. Those simple keys. When he hits you with the aching "Come on baby!" at the end. This is soul. I'd kill to have a voice like that.

"Jesus Gave Me Water" (Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers). Sam was only 19 when they recorded this track. I'm not very religious, but I am when I listen to this track. LISTEN TO THOSE VOCALS. He's a god. How? How? How? It's butter. It's perfect. And then the wail at the end!? I can't. Gives me goosebumps every time.

"Respect" (Aretha Franklin). I respect Aretha for taking this extremely sexist Otis Redding song and making it her own. Now it's an anthem for women everywhere AND one of the finest vocal performances…ever. Well done, girl. Well done.

"I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Live)" (Donny Hathaway). Donny is just magnificent. He has one of the smoothest voices of his generation. My friend Katy Pfaffl introduced me to this live version of the song. It's absolutely incredible.

"Somebody to Love" (Queen). If you don't think Freddy Mercury had soul…we may never be friends. There are people who were born to be legends. Freddy was one of them. He sang from the bottom of his gut every time he opened his mouth. A true hero of mine.

"I'll Cover You (Reprise)" (Rent). HELL YES, this is on my list! You better believe that Jesse L. Martin helped teach this little musical theatre white boy how to sing. I was a massive RENThead growing up. This was my favorite song. What a GLORIOUS bass. I want to swim in it. This is a soul classic in my mind!

"Que Sera Sera" (Sly and The Family Stone). You can't get much cooler than Sly and The Family Stone. This version of "Que Sera Sera" is so fantastic, it legitimately makes me giddy. The juxtaposition between her sweet vocals in the verse and his nasty vocals in the chorus. Sexy perfection.

"I Can't Stand The Rain" (Ann Peebles). I think this song was so ahead of its time. Ann is remarkable on this track. The lyrics are so spectacular. It's such an odd and remarkable piece. It's haunting and heartbreaking.

"Try Me" (James Brown). You can't leave James off the list. He's the "King of Soul" after all. I'm a sucker for a '50s R&B ballad. This is my personal favorite of his.

"I Will Always Love You" (Whitney Houston). Duh.

"Cry Baby" (Janis Joplin). She may be in the classic rock section on iTunes, but this woman had SOUL. This is a song that continues to prove to me that even in the loneliest moments of life, music will always be there to keep you company. So come on and cry baby.

"A Change is Gonna Come" (Sam Cooke). A masterpiece. The man's opus. The greatest soul song ever written. I don't think many people would argue that. This song was the last single he released before his death. His writing was clearly heading in a new and inspired direction. He was gone too soon. My favorite singer. I treasure this song and this recording. Just listen to that orchestra. This is a work of genius.