Phil Keaggy

One of the World's Top Guitarists

Electric and acoustic guitarist Phil Keaggy is one of the world's greatest guitarists.  He is ranked among top 100 in several greatest guitar play lists.  Guitar Player Magazine readers' polls frequently rank Keaggy as one of the world's top-3 "fingerstyle" and "fingerpicking" guitarist.  As a member of Glass Harp he is recognized or his lightning-fast guitar riffs, lyrical solos, and experimental sounds.  As a solo artist he is known for his intricate classical instrumentals, Beatlesque pop, heartfelt Christian songs, and innovative electronic pieces.  He is versatile artist who has pioneered and mastered new styles and techniques including the E-bow.  Keaggy is a seven-time recipient of the GMA Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year and was nominated twice for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album. Keaggy has released more than solo 50 albums and 8 albums with the group Glass Harp.  He is also a producer and session player on many contemporary Christian recordings.  Amazingly he recovered from losing the middle finger on his right hand in an accident at age four to become one of the world’s most accomplished and respected guitarists

Phil Keaggy, who was born in Youngstown Ohio in 1951, grew up in a small farmhouse in Hubbard, Ohio with nine brothers and sisters.  On his tenth birthday his father bought him a Sears Silvertone guitar.  His older brother Phil taught him some chords and how to tune the guitar.  He taught himself how to play.  A friend bought Phil a 1962 Stratocaster when he was in seventh grade and got his first at first professional gig at Artesia Hall.  He joined his first band, the Keytones at age 13.  In the mid-1960s Phil played in the garage rock band called the Squires and recording with the band New Hudson Exit in 1967.

In 1968, Keaggy age 19, along with longtime friend drummer John Sferra and bassist Daniel Pecchio, formed the legendary band Glass Harp.  They began playing at clubs in the Youngstown area and recording demos.  In 1969 they released the single "Where Did My World Come From?" on the United Audio label.  After winning an Ohio area "Battle of the Bands," one of the contest judges contacted Grammy winning record producer Lewis Merenstein convincing him to come to Youngstown to see Glass Harp in concert.  Hearing Glass Harp perform Merenstein recommended them to Decca Records.

Decca Records signed Glass Harp to a multi-record deal in 1970.  They recorded their first album "Glass Harp" at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios. In support of the album they toured the U.S. opening for The Kinks, Iron Butterfly, Yes, Traffic, Chicago, Humble Pie, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and Grand Funk Railroad.   Glass performed a ground breaking live concert on PBS in February 1972. It was one the first concerts to be simulcast on both television and early FM radio.  The recording was finally released as the “Circa 72”  DVD in 2006. The band went on the headline shows from The Fillmore East to the Winterland Ballroom. In the Fall of 1972, Glass Harp played at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall opening spot for the Kinks.  Their live performance was released as the Live At Carnegie Hall” CD in 1997.  Playing extended solos and long group improvisations at their concerts, Glass Harp is recognized as one of the pioneers of jam rock.  They released the Decca studio albums “It Makes Me Glad” (1971) and “Synergy” (1972).  In 1973 the band broke up.  Keaggy began his solo career.  Daniel Pecchio became a founding member of the Michael Stanley Band.  Sferra became a studio musician and produced his own music.  Glass Harp reunited in 2001 to record the "Strings Attached: Live" album performed with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.  They recording again in releasing Hourglass (2003) and the concert jams compilation CD “Stark Raving Jams” (2004).  Glass Harp released “Live at the Beachland Ballroom 11.01.08” in 2010.  They band became play short- concert tours in 2000 and has continues to perform together at several concerts each year since.  

Keaggy began his solo career in 1973 when he released “What A Day”.  He wrote all of the songs and played all of the instruments.  After a three year break Phil released his second solo album, "Love Broke Thru" in 1976.   Since then he has been a prolific recording artist releasing over 50 solo albums.  One of his most acclaimed albums is the instrumental "The Master And The Musician" was released in 1978.  Phil won his first Dove award in 1988 for his instrumental album, “The Wind and the Wheat. Phil's His second Dove Award came in 1992 for his Celtic-influenced, "Beyond Nature".  In 1995, 1996, and 1997 Keaggy was voted the #2 Best Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist in the Guitar Player Magazine readers poll.  The title track of one of his best-selling album best-selling albums “True Believer” reached number one on the Christian radio charts in 1995.  From 1998 through 2001, Phil won the Doves "Instrumental Record" category for his albums "Invention", "Acoustic Sketches", "Majesty and Wonder", and "Lights of Madrid".  As a main stream session play he has appeared on the recordings of Andrea Crouch and Amy Grant.

As a record produced Phil has produced albums and songs for Cheryl Bliss, Keith Moore, Phil McHugh, Third Season, Rachel Lanier, Gianna Jesson, and Kevin Gould.  As a concert performer

 Phil sells out solo concerts across the United States, with his ever-changing style, ranging from rock-and-roll to fully orchestrated instrumental compositions.

All Music Guide Discography

The Music of Glass Harp

Phil Keaggy jamming with McCartney