Spotlight: Phil Keaggy
Phil Keaggy was born in Ohio in 1951. His family lived on farm during his younger years. One day, when he was four years old, he accidentally lost his right middle finger while playing with a water pump. Despite this injury, Phil would later become a prominent and prolific finger-style guitarist and vocalist, sharing his Christian faith with the rest of the world.
Phil played in a garage band named the Squires in the mid-1960s. Soon after that, he joined a band called Volume IV in 1966, which was renamed New Hudson Exit in 1967. One of the songs that he wrote during this period was “Come With Me”, which sounded like something from Gerry and the Pacemakers or The Beatles (during their early years).
Next, he formed the rock trio Glass Harp in 1968. A 45 RPM 7″ record was released in 1969 containing the songs “Where Did My World Come From?” and “She Told Me”. This single was followed by three albums: “Glass Harp” (1970), “Synergy” (1971) and “It Makes Me Glad” (1972).
This time period was a difficult one for Phil. He had tried using LSD but hated the drug’s effects. His mother was seriously injured in a car crash on Valentine’s Day in 1970, dying soon afterward. However, his sister helped him cope with this loss, explaining to him the Christian faith more fully than he had heard before. He committed his life to Christ and began to focus his music more on God, leaving Glass Harp in 1972.
His first solo album, “What a Day”, was released in 1973. It reminds me of Paul McCartney’s first solo album from 1970 in many ways: The beards on the album covers, the instruments all being played by one artist, the vocal style and the laid-back feeling. My favourite song from it is probably “Rejoice”:
Phil married his wife Bernadette in Summer 1973. He toured and collaborated with other Christian bands such as 2nd Chapter of Acts. His next solo album, “Love Broke Thru”, was recorded three years later. Highlights of this one included “As the Ruin Falls”, “Portrait”, “Just the Same” and “Things I Will Do”.
In 1977, the Phil Keaggy Band put out the album “Emerging”. I liked the sound of the last song in particular, “Gentle Eyes”
Since the late 1970s, Phil has released many songs and albums in different styles. For more information (discographies, etc.), please see the following links:
Phil Keaggy’s official website
With Paul McCartney
So, what are some of your favourite songs by Phil Keaggy? Please feel free to post them or other music below.