Mark Garrison is a Folk/Americana singer/songwriter from North East Georgia. Growing up Mark was influenced by legendary country artist such as Hank Williams, Sr., Jim Reeves, Lefty Frizzell, and Jimmie Rodgers, just to name a few. While he spent his teens and early twenties playing the southeast as a front man for a top 40 rock band, he returned to his roots and moved to Nashville to pursue country music once again. While in Nashville, he had one of his songs cut by a country group from England and eventually landed a job working for Reba McEntire. During that time he had three of his songs under contract with Reba's publishing company, "Starstruck Angel Publishing." After the death of his grandfather, Mark decided to leave Nashville and return to Georgia to raise his children near family. Once back in Georgia, Mark, along with one of his brothers, founded the bluegrass group, "BlueBilly Grit." This eventually led the group to Telluride, Colorado, where they won the nationally-recognized Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition in 2012. They returned to Telluride in 2013 to play on the main stage with greats such as Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Jackson Browne, Del McCoury, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Osborne, and a host of many other renowned artist. After recording three Cd's and a live video with BlueBilly Grit, Mark is following his heart as a singer/songwriter to fulfill his desire to perform and share his music with small intimate groups. His live performances are a melting pot of influences from all genres of music and the evidence can be seen in his eclectic lyrical arrangements and musical montage. Mark's voice is comparable to a stone from one of the North Georgia mountain creeks near his home: “Well worn...but smooth,” reflecting years of being shaped and molded in the "river".
Amber Starr Hollis
Amber, Mark's daughter, has been performing since the age of three at county fairs, churches, coffee houses, competitions, and many other venues. She has also been involved with Community Theater, which allowed her the opportunity to act and sing. She is a talented song writer as well, and you can hear her songs on both the "Mill Grinder's Blues" and “Ready for a Change” Cds. Amber's love for music is the force that drives her and Her musical repertoire spans all genre's and is evident in the way she performs. Uniquely blending with Mark and Shawn to create that pure, perfect three part harmony, Amber’s style brings a sound to BlueBilly Grit that sets them apart.
Patrick began experimenting with guitar his senior year of high school. In the summer of 2003, he attended an Alison Krauss & Union Station concert in Kingsport, TN, and was inspired to switch to the fiddle. After two months of formal music lessons, he began sitting in on bluegrass jams at The Crimson Moon Cafe in Dahlonega, GA. Shortly thereafter, he was asked to join a local band, “Greybeard,” and later became a member of a Blues/Folk band, “The New Depression Orchestra.” In 2009, he met BlueBilly Grit at the "Bear on the Square" festival, where they jammed together for the entire day. After playing only a few shows with BBG, Patrick accepted the invitation to join BlueBilly Grit as a permanent member.
Shawn has been singing, writing, and playing guitar for over seventeen years. Fortunately for him, his father Benny Hart, with Bluegrass Express, introduced him to performing live on rhythm guitar at age 15. Shawn has been a part of several local rock bands over the years such as The Vinci, Damaged Goods, and Jailbird Paul. In between bands Shawn performed solo as Shawn Hart and The Acoustic Experience. He has always enjoyed the writing aspect of music and is very excited to be given a chance to contribute to BlueBilly Grit. Shawn also has two songs on the new, “Ready for a Change” CD called, ‘Take Me As I Am’ and R.l.P. T.V..