Admired electric and acoustic guitarist for both Christian and mainstream music
Phil Keaggy is listed as one of the top fingerstyle guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine readers’ polls for three years in a row, but he is equally at home on electric guitar. Keaggy is noted for crowd-pleasing solo live performances where he makes extensive use of recording live layers of loops to accompany himself. To do this he uses only an acoustic guitar but is able to create electric sounds.Keaggy began performing professionally in the late 60s with drummer John Sferra. The two friends, with the addition of bassist Dan Pecchio, formed Glass Harp in 1968.
A major turning point for the trio was winning an Ohio area’s “Battle of the Bands.” One of event’s judges happened to be an associate of the celebrated producer Lewis Merenstein, who was alerted about the hot young threesome. At the time, Merenstein was fresh from producing albums for many successful artists including The Spencer Davis Group, Turley Richards and Van Morrison’s Moondance (Merenstein produced Astral Weeks as well) and had just been voted Producer of the Year by Rolling Stone. Merenstein was persuaded to fly down from New York to see what the fuss was all about. Upon hearing the band perform, Merenstein was so inspired that Decca Records signed Glass Harp to a multi-record deal. A short time later, the band found itself in New York’s Greenwich Village recording its first album at Jimi Hendrix’ Electric Ladyland Studio with Lewis Merenstein as producer.<br>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”.