Who Is Phil Keaggy?
So who, you might be asking is Phil Keaggy? Phil Keaggy is an extraordinary guitar player. He is well-known among guitar players, even Paul McCartney knows him and legendary in the Christian Music Industry and among millions of church goers.
The legend is that Jimi Hendrix was asked in an interview, “What’s it like to be the greatest guitar player in the world?.” To which, but only according to the legend Jimi allegedly replied, “I don’t know ask Phil Keaggy.”
Here’s my thought. In about 1977 I first heard the name Phil Keaggy. I was at our hangout called the Stone House in Prairie Village, Kansas. I cannot recall the guy’s first name but his last name is Bartlett. He walked into the Stone house and started inviting all of us there to a concert.
The Legend Of Phil Keaggy
Bartlett told us Phil Keaggy was in the band and he said, “Jimi Hendrix” was asked who the greatest guitar player in the world is and he said, “Phil Keaggy.” That is where I first heard the “Legend of Phil Keaggy.” Phil is definitely a great guitar player and among the top living on the planet.
Phil had played as the lead man in Glass Harp sixties psychedelic band, so it is conceivable Jimi Hendrix might have said this to someone or the other, however it did not come from Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett or Eric Clapton as the alternative versions go.
My friend Paul Clark was the headliner in the concert that night when Bartlett was evangelizing Prairie Village’s version of Tom Wolff’s, The Pump House Gang. I did not go to the concert that night. Don’t recall what I did but it was decidedly counter cultural.
Breakfast With Phil Keaggy
Paul Clark is a great songwriter with perhaps, twenty-five very good records spanning from 1970 thru current. Phil Keaggy has played a lot or a bit on everyone of them since “Good To Be Home” in the early seventies.
Phil had lived in Leawood, Kansas, and I had the good fortune to get to know him, a little. He told me he remembered my face when I ran into him at Paul Clark’s in 2007 with my wife and grandson Julian. Julian, at breakfast time said he was hungry.
Phil without missing a beat gave Julian a small handful of his cereal right out of the bowl, no milk yet, while I annoyed Paul and everyone else, with my firebrand manner. Paul interrupted me and indicated they had to get ready and get to a sound check in North Kansas City.
Thrown Out Of Better Places Than This, Don’t Worry Phil
I looked at Phil after looking around the room [In Paul’s Amazing Leawood Mansion] and said, “I’ve been thrown out of better places than this.” Phil started laughing. I had seen their show the night before at Emmanuel Baptist Church. The first time I heard Phil live had been at the Uptown Theater in the early eighties. Paul was the headliner. That’s the night I met Paul Clark.
I’ve wondered if the Legend of Phil Keaggy might have started with one of Paul’s jokes onstage. Paul: “Johnny Carson asked Jimi Hendrix who the greatest guitar player in the world is and he said, Phil Keaggy.” Rimshot. If you knew Paul you’d realize this is a reasonable idea.
One time years ago I was backstage at 2nd Chapter of Acts. Everyone faded away from the backstage lounge area. Phil and I were there alone. Phil had his Olsen Guitar and played a couple of chords then asked me. “Brother do you think this guitar sounds to thin?” I asked him: “Phil do you like the guitar?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Phil if I were you, I would not worry about it, enjoy the guitar.”
Phil Keaggy The Tone Master Guitar Player
Technology and Phil Keaggy go together. He recorded his album “Underground” in the eighties on a Tascam 144 Cassette Recorder. I actually got to listen to it on the Tascam one day. Usually in those days he was working in high tech studios on two inch tape with a million dollars worth of processing.
Tascam 144? Amazing young man, then about 35. I had a conversation with Paul in the eighties about Phil using a Boss Rack Mounted Delay Unit (SDS 2000 maybe). Paul said, “Yeah that’s overkill”
But Paul is not into technology as a guitar player and would not understand Phil used it because he liked the way it sounded and operated. Here is my favorite song of his from his eighties album Town To Town.
Vintage Sound Versus Technology
Paul has a collection of great acoustic guitars including his vintage signature 1929 000-45 Martin and he records with a Universal Auduio Preamp and a Manley Compressor with no EQ. When you hear Paul, that’s what you hear a great guitar and a great songwriter, musing his craft. He’s great.
Talked to him the other day and he had sold his Deusenberg Electric to buy a Brazilian Rosewood, Collings OM Guitar.
Try as I might, I am enamored with the technology. Zoom has a camera I have purchased the Q2N which is touted as the musician’s camera with Zoom microphones on top and its small footprint it is easy to use and delivers very good sound.
Zoom Q2N 4K Video Camera
Over here on the really cool leather covered sewing table I bought for $ 20.00 at the Restore I have a Trinity Amps 5E3 amplifier kit in a vintage style tweed narrow panel Fender Tweed Deluxe styled cabinet. Going to build one.
I like vintage amplifiers and vintage warm tube sound. Neil Young, Kieth Richards, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa and everyone in between use Fender Tweed Twin Low Powered Amps for the great clean tones and the vintage signature breakup. Edge of Distortion if you’re wondering.
I can’t afford $3000 plus for a vintage fifties amplifier. Trinity builds these kits with slight modification, eliminating 60 cycle buzz, to original Fender specs. This is as close as I can afford to get. I plan video on the amp construction here.
New Recording Gear Acquisitions
But I also bought some other amazing things from Zoom which I am waiting to receive via FREE Two Day SHIPPING from zZounds. They have an acoustic guitar processor called the Zoom A1 Four which offers an amazing array of effects, a drum processor, looper and more. Following from the zZounds Overview on their site:
Zoom A14 (Acoustic Instruments Processor) and G1X (Electric Guitar Processor)
“Zoom A1-FOUR Acoustic Multi Effects
Zoom A1-FOUR: for Acoustic Guitar, Saxophone, Trumpet, Violin, Harmonica, Acoustic Bass and More with professional effects, built-in looper and drum machine, the A1 is the first Multi-Effects Processor designed for a variety of acoustic string and wind instruments.
Exceed Expectations with Extraordinary Effects
The A1 is preloaded with over 80 effects, including more than 35 groundbreaking effects specifically designed and engineered for acoustic instruments.
Unlock All the Potential of Your Acoustic Guitar
Add a multitude of warm and rich tones to your guitar. From live “unplugged” performance sounds to the finger-playing style of country and blues, there’s so much to choose from. Gorgeous effects and acoustic guitar modeling will take your instrument to places it’s never been before.” End of Zounds Overview quotes.
The A1 Four is the set up for acoustic instruments to include saxophone, trumpet, any horn, harmonica and upright bass.
The Zoom G1X Four is the set up for effects, drums and the looper for the Electric Guitar. I ordered both. Very reasonably priced.
I have a nurtured aversion to computers in the recording chain because its more distraction than I care to deal with. Crashes have ruined entire recording projects. So using the PRS Guitar and A Guild Acoustic and the Zoom A1 Four, for acoustic processing and the Zoom G1X Four (has the expression Pedal) and maybe a few drum sounds from the Boss DR-880, the Tasacam DP-32 [Highly Recommend David Wills Video Manual(s) for the Tascam DP Recorder at ProAudioEXP] this Recorder (way beyond Phil and the Tascam 144, but minus Phil Keaggy) delivering better than CD quality [every bit as good as DAW and much simpler to use] recording onto SD Card Media (No crashes likely) And simple Plug in and Play, like the Porta Studios of old, along with a Rode Nt1a Vocal Mic.
Vocal Mic [link takes you to a matched pair ?? Type Rode NT1a in the search unless you’re rich and want a matched pair]. With only these tools I am going to record a single called Mercy.
I bought the Guild Acoustic Guitar several years ago. The rest of this comes in very reasonably for a better than Abbey Road set up, (minus the Beatles and Geoff Emerick and George Martin and that room of course) so we will see how this all sounds. I’m looking forward to it.
Thank you for visiting my site. Thank you for reading my post and I hope this is helpful to you in your own recording career or hobby. Please if you have any questions click the zZounds Logo above or the links I have provided. If you have more questions for me leave them here below and I will answer them. Leave any comments there as well. Thank you again for your visit. Chris.