The concert we hosted with Phil Keaggy was wonderful.
He has amazing talent and a genuine spirit.
Before the concert, I got to hang-out for a bit with him. We talked about how the Gospel is still the hope that people are looking for, but how it often gets crowded out by religion. This seemed to be a real passion for Phil and we talked for quite a while about how to build authentic relationships with disenfranchised people.
We also talked of early days in Christian Music with Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill and Keith Green. He spoke about how Steve Camp started out as "Steve Stonebrook" until Larry invented a new name for him. (By the way, Phil does a dead on impression of Larry’s voice, in my humble opinion and much to my delight.)
I mentioned that we had hosted some previous concerts with Apologetix. He hadn’t heard of them, but liked their name very much. When I said that they do parodies of classic rock songs, he asked if they do any Beatles. The conversation then transitioned to his recommendation that I have Ken Mansfield, the former US manager of Apple Records during the Beatles’ heyday, in to speak. Apparently Phil is quite impressed with the fellow and his recent book, The Beatles, the Bible, and Bodega Bay.
Somewhere along the way, the conversation shifted to the music of Bob Dylan. Phil had insight to offer about the friendship between Bob and the late Christian singer, Keith Green. Phil recommended the book Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited for great insight into Dylan’s life and spiritual journey.
We also spoke of life as a musician, crazy middle-aged fans, and various what-not.
Overall, it was fascinating to spend time with Phil. He had a real warmth about him and a personable demeanor.
We had somewhere between 250 and 300 people at the concert, a little short of our hopes and projections, but nevertheless a good-sized crowd.
And Phil’s music is simply amazing. The nuances in his playing are striking. There is no question; he is still one of the great guitarists of our day. His vocals were as sharp as ever and it was hard to tell who was having the better time, us or him. He played to a mesmerized audience for over 130 minutes.
Oh yeah, pictures? Here are a few (thanks to tuffy who brought a camera while yours truly left his home):