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MP3 Henry Doss - Floating Islands

Acoustic rock artist Henry Doss writes songs with a retro, melodic, up tempo feel.

11 MP3 Songs
POP: Beatles-pop, COUNTRY: Country Rock

Born in rural Tennessee and raised in equally rural Virginia, Henry spent his teenage years like every other kid who grew up in the 70''s-dreaming of becoming a rock n'' roll star. And, like most kids, he bought an acoustic guitar, taught himself to play, had some fun, and then dropped the guitar in favor of growing up. The difference is, Henry picked his back up-- 30 years later.

Not that growing up was all bad. Henry enjoyed an extremely successful career in banking, along with an impassioned involvement in Democratic politics. Along the way he raised two daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth, traveled, and nurtured the most important relationship in his life: his marriage to his wife, Chris.

Then, in 1999, at the age of 46, Henry had one of those clarifying moments every artist understands. On a whim, Henry wandered into a music store after work, where he spotted a used Gibson Nighthawk. He took one look at that guitar, and something changed.

"I knew I wanted to write, perform and record great music," he says. Everything he''d felt as a kid, all the magic and the fire and the fun, came back, but now it was better. He''d had a lifetime of experiences to pour into every song and an entire career that had taught him how to be creative.

Banking creative? Yes. Although most people would dismiss the world of finance as ordinary, Doss feels the opposite is true. Every day his employability hinged on instinct and ideas, redefining ways of seeing the world and overcoming obstacles.
So, he bought the guitar, took it home, and played the first chord of the rest of his life.
Looking a little disheveled in his business suit, he soon relaxed into the easy attitude of a musician and, as he held his guitar, his wife snapped a picture of what would soon become Henry''s future: banker turned rocker overnight.

In 2002, Henry officially retired from banking, and he and his wife moved to northwest Michigan, not far from the shores of Lake Michigan. Although he still works what he considers "part-time" as a consultant-that''s 30 to 40 hours a week - his focus now is on music.

The lyrics to Henry''s life are still partially unwritten, the second verse growing and gaining momentum every day. Even with two complete records, Remnants of a Conversation (2003) and Floating Islands (2005), and a concept album to his name, Henry still marvels at the caliber of talent with whom he has worked, people like Emma Rugg, a singer/songwriter from England and the members of his band, "Data Cubes." "You get the right people together, the right vibe, something good''s going to happen," Doss says.
But it''s the satisfaction of really good writing that compels him to continue. At his deepest level, Henry is a songwriter, and he''s drawn by music''s potential to reach another human being. It''s the emotional pay off of those experiences that that keep him connected to the art.

Entirely dedicated to his craft, his songs cover a range of landscapes from the emotional to the political to the just plain irreverent and fun. His youthful voice does equal justice to acoustic ballads, heartfelt folk and cut loose rock. But the essential elements remain love and hard work-a lot of both.

Who knew you could find both the subtlety and soul of poetry, not to mention the edge of straight up rock, in the heart of a former banker from the South? Unbelievable, but true. Henry Doss is the kind of contradiction that''s both arresting and refreshing, just like all good music should be.

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