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Craig Harrel | Red Haired Boy

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Album Links
Craig Harrel's Website

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United States - Texas

Other Genres You Will Love
Folk: Traditional Folk World: Celtic Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Red Haired Boy

by Craig Harrel

A distinctive mix of Celtic, old-time, gospel, and classical music – performed by vocalist and champion autoharp player, Craig Harrel. This is not like your grandma’s autoharp playing. This is dynamic and precise, lightning-quick fingerpicking.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Red Haired Boy
3:05 album only
2. Sheep May Safely Graze
3:30 album only
3. Wild Mountain Thyme
3:09 album only
4. John Stinson's No. 2
2:24 album only
5. Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel
2:53 album only
6. Walking Boss
2:26 album only
7. Saddle the Pony
2:24 album only
8. Blackberry Blossom
3:03 album only
9. Crow Black Chicken
2:38 album only
10. Banish Misfortune
2:37 album only
11. As I Went Down in the Valley to Pray
3:09 album only
12. Palms of Victory
3:10 album only
13. Loch Tay Boat Song - Instrumental
2:59 album only
14. Madame Bonaparte
3:10 album only
15. My Long Journey Home
2:32 album only
16. Hard Times Come Again No More
4:54 album only
17. Sailor's Hornpipe
2:44 album only
18. William Tell Overture
2:35 album only


Album Notes
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



to write a review

Rebecca Scarbrough

Red Haired Boy
I loved the CD. Craig and his crew are very talented and the variety was wonderful. I also like the CD because I've known Craig from his younger days and I am happy to know of his talent with the Autoharp and his singing voice. Keep going. I'll keep listening.

Jennifer L Gonzalez

Red Haired Boy
Awesome! I had the pleasure of attending Craig's CD release event and he is as gifted as he is kind. The CD is a great reminder of his talent and dedication to his music.

Beth VanDusen

What talent!
Great CD. Loved the variety of music. What a talented musician and singer!

Vicki Kunetka

Red Haired Boy is the best
I was entranced the first time I ever heard Craig Harrell play Red Haired Boy. I've been comparing his arrangement of this song to every other version since then and *no one* compares to the energy and vitality of Craig's performance. The approach starts softly, but as it builds, I end up tapping my foot and having to restrain myself from dancing! What fun! Other tracks are equally good. My favorites are Long Journey Home, I Went Down to the Valley to Pray, and William Tell Overture. You gotta take a listen!