George Heritier aka Don Coyote knew he wanted to play music after watching that first appearance by the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, back in 1964. It took another few years of playing air guitar and singing along with his favorite records, while constantly nagging his parents, to finally get his first guitar, and, by then, he was hooked. His first paying gig was with a garage band called The Caretakers; it was in a bar, and he was 14. From there, he expanded his horizons to play music in a variety of formats, including rock, folk, blues, bluegrass, country and even a little jazz. He has played in a variety of settings, including coffee house, saloon, concert and festival, and remembers a set on the stage of Detroit’s fabled Grande Ballroom in 1969 as being among his more memorable. Until recently, his recorded output was limited to a 45 RPM single on vinyl, released in 1977, featuring two songs about fallen Bay City, Michigan landmarks, “The Ballad of the Third Street Bridge” and “The Saga of the Last Chance Saloon.” The release of his CD, “In My Element,” happily adds to Heritier’s songbook, and he says that “there’s more where that came from.”
Throughout his musical journey, George has remained firmly entrenched in American roots music. Playing 6 and 12-string guitars, and accompanying himself on harmonica, he sings and writes in a style that incorporates elements of folk, old time country, blues and bluegrass. He has lived in Michigan all of his life, and his love for his home state naturally finds its way into his music. Themes tend to be irreverent; he hasn’t written a pretty love song in a long, long time. These days, he’s more apt to write about pine cone Buddhas, drunk bugs swimming in a glass of wine and the joys of being a locavore. When he covers songs, whether traditional or penned by others, he lives with them for months or years, so that they become his own.
“I’ve worn many musical hats during my years of playing professionally, but my heart is centered in American roots music in its myriad variations. I sing and I play acoustic 6 & 12-string guitars, harmonica and electric bass. I write songs about anything that catches my attention, often with a humorous twist, and I "borrow" songs from those I admire and make them my own. I played my first gig at the age of 14, in a bar, and I never looked back.” - George Heritier
“I first heard George at the Harsen's Island Festival and was immediately taken by his wry, imaginative, funny songs, his great singing and facile guitar and harmonica playing. He has a unique way of telling a story and after listening to him for a set, you'll not only know a lot about him and the human condition, but you'll wanna sit down with him and a bottle of Left Foot Charley wine to learn more.....” – David Mosher
"And George Heritier from Oak Park shared his clever songwriting, cool and entertaining lyrics and hot guitar/harmonica riffs. He got the best round of applause for the whole festival! I am a huge fan of acoustic blues and folk music and George is one of the best I have heard. I would make it a point to go see him ANY time he plays, it will be well worth the effort!" - John P. Bayerl, PhD, SeMi Bluegrass.com (Aug 21, 2012)