Bringing her harp back

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If your Steamboat Springs memory stretches back to the early 1980s, you might remember Margot Krimmel. She played guitar, had long hair and performed regular gigs with musicians Randy Kelley and Mary Beth Norris, who still live here.

It was toward the end of her stay in Steamboat that she discovered the harp.

¤ Songs of Peace and Joy by Margot Krimmel and Beth Leachman

¤ 8 p.m. today

¤ Paradigm Theater, 116 W. Main St. in Oak Creek

¤ $10; tickets available at Bonfiglio Drug and at the door

¤ 846-5137

"I'd always wanted to play the harp," she said. "A woman was moving away and had a harp to sell. I went to her house to look at it. I took one look and said 'no.'

"It was really big. It was hard to tune, and I didn't know how to play it. It had so many strings."

But fate would have her play the harp. Six months later, when the women finally moved away from Steamboat, she couldn't fit the harp in her car and asked Krimmel to store it.

"And that was it," Krimmel said. "Once I had it in my living room, and I had the 'Teach Yourself Harp' book, I loved it, and I bought it from her."

The harp was a Celtic harp like the kind you see on Guinness bottles. It was made of wood and not painted or gilded. It had a bright sound and led Krimmel into a world of Celtic folk music.

As they say, that was then, and a lot has happened since.

Twenty years later, Krimmel returns to Steamboat for a night to perform a concert called "Songs of Peace and Joy" with harpist and singer Beth Leachman.

The show will have a Celtic flavor but will include renditions of familiar holiday songs such as "The First Noel."

Because of her guitar roots, Krimmel's approach to the harp is more like that of a folk singer than a classical musician.

The show will have that kind of intimate feel with conversation and stories between songs.

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