Craig’s musical career started at the ripe age of four singing rounds in the car with his family on vacation. He progressed to a regular gig at the age of eight,
playing solo trumpet every Monday in front of his school at the flag-raising ceremony. In Junior High, he traveled with the school jazz band. By high school, having switched to playing the guitar, he got a solo gig as the only male in an all female audience, (a mother-daughter banquet) where he performed Neil Young tunes on the guitar and harmonica.
Coming to the University of California at Santa Cruz in the 70’s, he found that everyone played the guitar so had plenty of people to play with. Soon after, he dropped out of college to become a wandering gypsy. Hooking up with Todd Davis, a drummer that he met in Oregon, they decided to form a band along with Nick Heinz and Carey Casey. They toured the Western United States under the name, “Change of Heart”. At that point, brother Keith Rayburn joined the band which they renamed “Coyote”.
Back in Santa Cruz again, he and his band played nearly every musical venue in Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay in the 80’s, making it on to a record Kevin Kraft produced, “The Best of the Monterey Bay”. In the 90’s, adding drummer Mark Falge, keyboardist Kevin Taylor and vocalist Suellen McCutchen, they played around town as “The Benders.”
Thereafter, Craig went back to UCSC to pursue his degree, putting music on a slow burner. He met his lovely future bride, got his teaching credential, got married, got a “real” job, went to Bolivia, came home, bought a house and had babies.
During this time, Craig continued to perform locally with his band “The Benders” and with other musicians. Recently, being heavily urged on by friends and fans, Craig decided to begin work on his first solo album with the help of multi-award winning singer-songwriter/producer Keith Greeninger and producer Tim Prince. Many talented musicians are on his project, including his brother Keith Rayburn (dobro, electric slide guitar, vocals) who has rejoined Craig on this important first “solo” recording project. Other talented musicians on the album include Keith Greeninger on vocals(Glorious Peasant,Wind River Crossing), Jimmy Norris on drums (Lacy J. Dalton, Larry Hosford), Paul Olguin (bass), multi-instrumentalist Dayan Kai (flute, trumpet, mandolin, accordian and vocals), former Wayback fiddler ChoJo Jacques, LA guitarist Randy Mitchell (Warren Zevon, Billy Bob Thornton, Donna Summers) and SF pianist John R. (Robin Ford, Alison Brown, Maria Muldar) The CD is a masterful blend of folk, rock, and country with a touch of jazz thrown in.
Craig’s powerful vocals and captivating lyrics will take you on an epic journey as you experience the wide range of his musical styles. It is a trip you don’t want to miss.