Meet Phil Keaggy
Having been influenced by a wide range of artists and musical styles, Phil Keaggy continues to grow and develop after nearly thirty years of musical performance. Keaggy began his career by playing guitar in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and he developed much of his musical style while performing in the seventies and eighties with such musical legends as Chicago, Yes, Traffic, Grand Funk Railroad, and Iron Butterfly. A guitarist with a very unique sound, Keaggy credits the guitarists he loved as he grew up, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Michael Blomfield, with having helped to form his own sound on the guitar.
Phil Keaggy began recording in 1968 with a band called "Glass Harp," and following a few successful years with the band, he decided to embark on a solo career. Over the past thirty years, Keaggy’s discography has grown to include over twenty albums, and his impressive list of honors has swelled to fill many pages. Two of his instrumental albums, The Wind in the Wheat and Beyond Nature, have been honored with a Dove Instrumental Album of the Year award. Two of his other recordings, Find Me In These Fields and Crimson and Blue, were given Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Gospel Album. His guitar style has been honored on multiple occasions by Guitar Player Magazine.
As recognized as Keaggy has been for his guitar-work, his musical talent is matched equally by his talent for writing poignant lyrics. His writings reflect the spiritual influences that have guided him through many years of a growing faith. His wife, children, parents, sisters, brothers, discipling pastor from Youngstown, Ohio, and authors including Oswald Chambers and C.S. Lewis have each left a mark on Phil Keaggy’s life and music. In fact, faith has propelled the majority of Keaggy’s musical career, ever since in 1970 he became a Christian and began desiring to chronicle his faith with songs about God and his love for humankind.
Family plays a central role in Keaggy’s life, and his wife and three children deeply influence his music and writing. He explains, "My relationship with my family has really tempered how I write. The most real things about me have to do with songs that somehow touch on issues of family and relationships." For the Keaggy’s, building a family was a process marked by difficulty and struggle. Their three children were born only after the heartbreaking loss of five other children to miscarriage and premature birth. Bernadette Keaggy recounts that story of how hardship and loss has strengthened their faith in God, in a book entitled A Deeper Shade of Grace. The Keaggy family now resides in Nashville, Tennessee. Phil and Bernadette live with their three children Alisha, Olivia, and Ian.