With the genuine feel of his blend of country, folk, and bluegrass, as well as his lyrical wit and storytelling abilities, Michael Reno Harrell has managed to gain a devoted following among fans of roots music.
Born in east Tennessee, Harrell spent his youth shuttling between there and western North Carolina, from where his family came. Inspired by the folk music boom of the '60s, Harrell explored his interest in the genre. In the late '80s, he decided to take a try at songwriting in Nashville, managing to get songs cut by Doug Stone and Perfect Stranger. Despite making inroads, however, he became disillusioned and returned to North Carolina, putting aside musical aspirations. The sabbatical from music didn't last long and, encouraged by his wife and friends, Harrell released a cassette, There Are No Angels Here, in 1995. This release was followed several years later by his debut CD, Ways to Travel, which featured a host of Nashville musicians including Jerry Douglas. Ways to Travel earned enthusiastic reviews and won new fans among listeners of Americana music. ~ Tom Demalon