Red Haired Boy
Quotation from the CD Liner Notes: 'Craig Harrel is an autoharp virtuoso and vocalist with broad musical interests, ranging from classical and Celtic, to old-time and gospel. This, his debut recording, distinctively portrays his exceptional instrumental ability, down-to-earth style of singing, and remarkable flair for musical arrangement. Craig's amazing talent gained significant visibility in 2008, when he won the two premier autoharp contests in the world - the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship and the International Autoharp Championship (Winfield). In doing so, Craig became only the third person in history to ever win both competitions in the same calendar year. This recording contains all the tunes from those championship victories (including everybody's favorite, 'William Tell Overture') - plus several other jewels from his instrumental repertoire. A number of songs are included that showcase his vocal abilities, as well. Craig's instrument of choice is uncommon, to be sure, and many people ask why it is called an autoharp. Craig responds - tongue firmly planted in cheek - that his magical box 'has 15 buttons and 37 strings...and all one has to do is press the right buttons and pluck the right strings at just the right time, and the instrument plays itself automatically!' Another question often asked is why an autoharp - why not some other, more mainstream instrument? Listen to this recording and the answer will become self-evident. I'm sure you will agree, on hearing this exceptional album, that Craig Harrel's playing is extraordinary. His superb musicianship and robust performance style offer listeners a rare opportunity to fully experience, appreciate, and enjoy the unparalleled versatility and power of the unique instrument he commands. He is truly an autoharp wizard.' Mary Ann Johnston Editor & Publisher, Autoharp Quarterly magazine Member of the Autoharp Hall of Fame (Note: The review shown above by Mary Ann Johnston was written for inclusion in the liner notes of Craig Harrel's debut CD 'Red Haired Boy.' Shortly after Mary Ann's comments were finalized, she became gravely ill and was hospitalized. As many people now know, she reluctantly retired from the magazine, later, due to her poor health. Little did anyone realize at the time that her review of Craig's CD for the liner notes would be one of her last official acts as editor and publisher of Autoharp Quarterly magazine. Craig would like to thank Mary Ann for her contribution to this project as well as for her many years of service to the autoharp community.) CD cover photo by Nash Baker.