This Man’s Heart is an intimate house concert, recorded live. It’s like being there in someone’s living room with thirty or forty strangers. Everybody’s a little shy, a little nervous, trying to get a feel for just what this thing is. And then a guy steps to the front of the room and he starts to work his way into the first introduction, the first song. A little tuning, a little humor, nothing too big or flashy. Nice and easy. He begins to weave a spell, a kind of enchantment of words and music, of stories and ideas and emotions. You’re going to laugh and look around to see if others are laughing too. You’ll find yourself lost in imaginative musings and ushered to the brink of deep emotions and then when the last note has been struck and the bows have been taken, you’ll feel like you’ve been off rambling with friends and brought back treasures and keepsakes.
Garrison began developing his uniquely entertaining performance skills somewhere in the late 60's in Coconut Grove, Florida (he claims that there is no truth to the persistent, recurring rumor that he was the seventeen-year-old kid that introduced Joni to David Crosby). He plays the six-string dreadnought guitar in ways that others just don't - thumping and smoky and tender. His voice has found the true path through a thousand stories.
Legendary Crosby, Stills and Nash producer Steve Gursky says:
“Garrison Doles is one of the most talented songwriters and performers I’ve ever worked with. He really knows how to put words and music together in a way that makes the story come alive. And he totally fills the role of performing songwriter. Great singer, guitar wizard and truly entertaining storyteller. Never pass up a chance to see this master at work.”
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Garrison moved to Miami, Florida, at the age of nine - AAAHH!! Culture shock. At about seventeen, he started playing his original songs in coffeehouses in Coconut Grove’s blossoming folk music scene. After the Grove settled down, there were a lot of years of traveling around the southeast playing in bars. It’s a rough life and it finally wore him down, so he stopped doing that and stepped out onto another stage. As a co-founder of Theatre Downtown, an off-off-Broadway style theatre in Orlando, Florida, he produced, acted, directed, designed and wrote for the theatrical stage. It’s all storytelling. In recent years he has built an impressive following in Florida, playing at the many folk festivals, coffeehouses and house concerts around the state. He has four independently released CD’s and tours full-time nationally as a performing songwriter.
Garrison tours nationally as a songmaker and a storymaker performing in secular venues –
COFFEEHOUSES, FESTIVALS and HOUSE CONCERTS
in CHURCHES and HOUSE CONCERTS, he offers the SONG CHAPEL – original songs and stories based on Psalms and the Gospels, the Prophets and Revelation.
You can bring Garrison to your living room, church or favorite venue. Visit garrisondoles.com
Rest assured, he will always bring only what is appropriate to your venue.
Garrison Doles is a broken shard of sea glass that washed up on the beach. Shattered and jagged and tossing in the ocean, tumbling against the sandpaper bottom until it rolled out smooth and hard and not quite transparent.
It took a lot of hard work and determination to develop a world class drinking problem. Afternoons hustling nine-ball at pool tables in the corners of 7th Avenue strip joints. Nights picking out home-made songs on his battered Martin D-28 in saloons from Key West to St. Augustine. “I wasn’t gettin’ a lot of vegetables back then. Unless you count Marlboros and Jack Daniels.”
Coconut Grove wasn’t a bad place to start out. Coffee houses where Joni met David Crosby and began her long run. Where Jimmy Buffet worked the kinks out and legends like Michael Smith and Gamble Rogers and Steve Goodman traded forty minute sets in rooms with audiences of fifty or sixty or maybe a hundred on a big Saturday night.. “I’d see Fred Neil and Vince Martin on a tiny stage in a tight spotlight and think that was just where I wanted to spend my whole life. I didn’t know anything. I thought there were places like that all over the world. I barely got to play any of those joints at all and then they were gone and I found myself working dark, smoky bars; playing for people who showed up to drink and get lucky and to definitely not listen to original, acoustic soul songs. I did that for about fifteen years before I figured out it wasn’t what I’d signed up for and that it was killing me. So I quit.”
He quit playing in bars, quit drinking, quit smoking. Moved to Orlando and got a real job. Got married, had a kid and got divorced. Got himself involved in some local drama - he was co-founder of Theatre Downtown, a way-off-off-Broadway style theatre that’s been around for about twenty years now, where he has produced, acted, directed, designed and written for the theatrical stage. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble. And he just keeps on writing songs and somehow the audiences find him.
Garrison has recently won major songwriting competitions in North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts and he’s on the move, touring nationally and performing at all the best festivals, coffeehouses and house concerts.
He is a true singer/songwriter - a songmaker and a storymaker. Listening to these songs is like running the pad of your thumb around the edge of that smooth, green sea glass. You can sense the raggedness beneath the surface. You can feel the textures of life’s abrasion, the swirling imprints of the forces that polish us down to our essential selves and there is a comfort in that and a complex sort of pleasure.