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phil keaggy: then & now

Phil Keaggy is perhaps one of the most admired guitarists in music today.  His fans range from those who aspire just to be able to play Keaggy's mistakes, to professional musicians who have been strongly influenced by his style.  And in between are those who don't play guitar, yet find solace in his beautifully penned lyrics and memorable melodies.


“Phil Keaggy is perhaps one of the most admired guitarists in music today. His solo career has spanned more than 30 years, and has included over 50 solo albums, both vocal and instrumental"

"Phil's solo career has spanned more than 30 years, and has included over 50 solo albums, both vocal and instrumental, as well as 8 releases with his band, Glass Harp.  One of the most sought after studio guitarists, Phil also continues to sell out concerts all over the United States, with his ever-changing style, ranging from rock-and-roll to fully orchestrated instrumental compositions.

Born on March 23, 1951 in Youngstown, OH, the ninth of ten children, Phil grew up in a home filled with music.  On Phil's 10th birthday, his brother, Dave returned home with a Sears Silvertone guitar.  That's when the magic began.

Phil spent most of his younger days involved in music, and at the young age of 13, he joined his very first band, the Keytones.  He later went on to join such local groups as The Vertices, The Squires, and the Volume Four, who later changed their name to New Hudson Exit.

But it wasn't until 1970, when Phil's band Glass Harp (with childhood friend John Sferra on drums, and Dan Pecchio on bass) recorded their self-titled first album that people really began to take notice of this incredibly gifted guitar player.  Glass Harp gained more popularity in the Ohio area, opening for such bands as the Kinks and Yes, and even performing at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Over the next few years, they recorded two more albums entitled "Synergy" and "It Makes Me Glad".

By 1972, Phil saw his life going in a different direction, and made the tough decision to leave Glass Harp and pursue a solo career.  His first solo album, "What A Day", was recorded in just a week's time during January 1973. He married his sweetheart Bernadette that summer, and the following year, they moved to Upstate New York and joined a Church community called Love Inn.

During his years there, Phil took a break from recording his own music.  It wasn't until three years later in 1976 that Phil would record his second solo album, "Love Broke Thru", which was soon followed by a string of albums, including the acclaimed instrumental album, "The Master And The Musician".

With the Christian Music industry really beginning to grow, Phil won his very first Dove award in 1988 for his instrumental album, “The Wind and the Wheat.  Phil's second Dove Award came in 1992 for his Celtic-influenced, "Beyond Nature".  Each year from 1998 to 2001, Phil has dominated the "Instrumental Record" category at the Doves, winning for "Invention", "Acoustic Sketches", "Majesty and Wonder", and most recently "Lights of Madrid". For three years in a row, Phil was voted one of the top fingerstyle guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine readers.

These days, Phil Keaggy continues to delight audiences all over the US performing primarily acoustic shows, and occasional concerts with a band. He is aware that God gave him a calling to deliver the Gospel through his music, and for over 30 years, Phil Keaggy has been grateful to do just that, and will hopefully continue to do so for many years to come.

Studio albums Include: What a Day, 1973 Love Broke Thru, 1976 Emerging Phil Keaggy Band, 1977, reissued on CD in 2000 as Re-Emerging minus one song plus four new ones The Master and the Musician, 1978 instrumental album, later reissued on CD with bonus track. A 30th anniversary edition was released in 2008 and included a bonus disc of alternate takes and an interview. Ph'lip Side, 1980, released in two versions (one song different and in different sequence) Town to Town, 1981 Play thru Me, 1982 Underground, 1983, later reissued on CD with bonus tracks and different track sequence Getting Closer!, 1985, later reissued on CD with a different track sequence and bonus material Way Back Home, (original) 1986 The Wind and the Wheat, 1987, instrumental album Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child, 1988 Find Me in These Fields, 1990 Beyond Nature, 1991, instrumental album Revelator, 1993, eight track EP preview of the album Crimson and Blue, with abridged and extended versions of "John the Revelator" Crimson and Blue, 1993 Blue, 1994 Way Back Home, (reissue) 1994, heavily revised version of 1986 album True Believer, 1995 Acoustic Sketches, 1996, instrumental album 220, 1996, instrumental album On the Fly, 1997, instrumental album Phil Keaggy, 1998 Premium Jams, 1999, double instrumental album Music to Paint By: Still Life, 1999, instrumental album Music to Paint By: Electric Blue, 1999, instrumental album Music to Paint By: Splash, 1999, instrumental album Music to Paint By: Brushstrokes, 1999, instrumental album Majesty and Wonder, 1999, Christmas album An Angel's Christmas, 1999, Christmas album Inseparable, 2000, released in a two disc version (21 tracks), then later in the year as a single disc (17 tracks) Uncle Duke, 2000, lyrics written originally as poetry by Keaggy's uncle Dave "Duke" Keaggy Zion, 2000 Lights of Madrid, 2000, instrumental album Cinemascapes, 2001, instrumental album In the Quiet Hours, 2001, instrumental album Hymnsongs, 2002, instrumental album Freehand (Acoustic Sketches II), 2003, acoustic instrumental album Special Occasions, 2003 It's Personal, 2004, lyrics originally written as poetry by Keith Moore Uncle Duke, 2005, re-issue of Uncle Duke, with bonus material Jammed!, 2006, instrumental album. Selections and remixes from Premium Jams, with bonus material. Roundabout, 2006, instrumental album Dream Again, 2006 Two of Us, 2006, instrumental album with Mike Pachelli Acoustic Cafe, 2007. Primarily an album of covers, many of which are duets. Guest vocalists include Randy Stonehill. The Song Within, 2007, acoustic instrumental album Phantasmagorical: Master and Musician 2, 2008, instrumental album Welcome Inn, 2009, Christmas album Frio Suite, 2009, instrumental album with Jeff Johnson Inter-Dimensional Traveler, 2010, instrumental album. The album is the debut project from "The Phil Keaggy Trio", a group consisting of Keaggy, keyboardist Jack Giering and Glass Harp drummer John Sferra. Live from Kegworth Studio, 2012. The Cover of Love, 2012.

Live albums Include: Phil Kägi, 2006, two-disc set from the 2006 Swiss Tour (Switzerland release only)With 2nd Chapter of Acts and "A Band Called David" How the West Was One, 1977With Randy Stonehill Together Live! 2005Compassion All-Star Band 1 By 1 (One by One) Live!, 1988. In addition to Keaggy, the band features Margaret Becker (vocals, guitar), Randy Stonehill (vocals, guitar), John Andrew Schreiner (keyboards, vocals), Rick Cua (bass, vocals), Mike Mead (drums, percussion) and Joe English (drums, percussion, vocals).With Glass Harp Live at Carnegie Hall, 1997. This concert had originally been recorded in 1971 but remained in the vaults until 1997. One track, "Do Lord", appeared on Keaggy's compilation album Time: 1970-1995 prior to the official release of Live at Carnegie Hall. Strings Attached, 2000 (double album). This collection also features live versions of several Keaggy solo tunes such as "From the Beginning", "Chalice", "Inseparable", "John the Revelator", "True Believer", "Shades of Green", "Overture (for Guitar and Orchestra)", and "Tender Love". Stark Raving Jams, 2004 (triple album). Includes live versions of Keaggy's solo material such as "Salvation Army Band" (listed as "SAB Jam") and "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus". Glass Harp Live at the Beachland Ballroom 11.01.08.

Tribute Albums Include: Strong Hand of Love: A Tribute to Mark Heard, Various Artists, 1994. Keaggy contributes a recording of Heard's "I Always Do", a song featured first on his Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child album in 1988. Orphans of God, Various Artists, 1996. This is a second tribute album to Mark Heard. Keaggy sings and plays on a remake of "Everything is All Right". Keaggy originally recorded the song featured for his 1988 album Phil Keaggy and Sunday's Child. The Jesus Record, Rich Mullins & A Ragamuffin Band, 1998. Keaggy performs "All the Way to Kingdom Come". Coming Up! A Tribute to Paul McCartney, Various Artists, 2001. Keaggy sings and plays on a cover version of "Somedays", a song that McCartney originally recorded for his 1997 album Flaming Pie. Making God Smile: A Tribute to Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Various Artists, 2002. Keaggy sings and plays on a cover version of "Good Vibrations". Come Together: America Salutes The Beatles, Various Artists, 2003. Keaggy and PFR team up for a remake of "We Can Work It Out". Full Circle: A Celebration of Songs and Friends, Charlie Peacock, 2004. A collection of Charlie Peacock songs re-recorded by various artists. Keaggy and Bela Fleck provide instrumental backing to Sarah Groves' vocals on "In the Light". Life is Precious: A Tribute to Wes King, Various Artists, 2006. Keaggy contributes a rendering of "Getting Used to the Darkness". Yesterday: A Tribute to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, 2006, with Pat Coil and Mark Douthit. Keaggy sings and plays guitar on "And I Love Her".

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