|Phil Keaggy Fans Online
2006 Denver Guitar Festival, Ogden Theater, Denver, CO - 23 September 2006
|The first annual Denver Guitar Festival sponsored by Gibson Guitars, NIPP and Road Home Productions was held Saturday, September 23rd at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado. The line-up was to include Phil Keaggy, Dave Beegle, Jason Truby (of P.O.D.), Kenny Greenberg, Ashley Cleveland and Ian Keaggy. As if that weren't good enough, on August 31rst, it was announced that Glass Harp would be added to the bill! Fans speculated on the setlist, the order and the combination of musicians, and were quite happy Glass Harp was finally making it to Denver.|
The afternoon guitar clinic started at 2pm with Phil Keaggy, Dave Beegle, Kenny Greenberg and Jason Truby. Each man started out by telling a bit about the type of music they play and answered audience questions. The highlight was the jamming that followed. Jason and Phil played together, then Dave and Kenny. Phil's song Ian joined them halfway through and after more questions, the five of them all jammed together including a few of Phil's instrumental tunes and a fun version of Dylan's "If Not For You". A great afternoon with some of the best audience participation I've seen at a clinic. After two hours, the group broke and everyone left the theater while the musicians finished up with the sound check and rehearsal for an hour until the doors opened again at 5.
Phil Keaggy took the stage at 6 (to everyone's surprise, I might add) with a Beatlesque song from the [then] upcoming CD called "Thank You For Today", followed by a wonderful version of "Legacy" complete with extended introduction. Next was "Salvation Army Band" and another from the upcoming CD, "How Can I Thank You". He closed his short set with a song he wrote for his son Ian, "Gentle And Strong". That, of course, led to the introduction of Ian himself and Phil accompanied him on one of his own songs, "You Make Me Happy".
The unfortunate task of following Phil fell to Dave Beegle, who as usual, was quite up to the task. But first, the MC led the audience in "Happy Birthday to Dave". Dave began his set with a traditional flamenco piece called "Maleguena" and followed up with a new piece titled "River Of Peace" featuring some beautiful ebow segments. He then invited Matt Henderson out to join him on djembe for "All The King's Men". Dave's wife Sandy joined them, adding palmas (hand claps) to another flamenco piece, "Boladias". Finally, Dave invited another friend, Aaron Lee, to join him on guitar for his signature piece, "Joy", with the long ebow Keaggy-inspired (or "ripped off" as Dave often says) "Amazing Grace" ebow introduction. This song is always a jaw-dropper and didn't disappoint.
Next up was Ashley Cleveland with her husband Kenny Greenberg. Ashley had attended the clinic earlier in the afternoon, but as an active audience member, not a performer. I wasn't very familiar with her music and wasn't initially impressed, but as her set went on, her acoustic-blues-rock style began to grow on me. Their set included "Don't Let Me Fall", "Twilight Hour" (a love song for fifty year olds), "Run For The Blessing Now" (including some light-hearted ribbing of Jason about a comment he made during the clinic), "You Are There", a spiritual by Thomas Dorsey called "Precious Lord Take My Hand", and a cover of the John Hiatt tune "Riding With The King". My favorite song of the set was the spiritual; it's passionate bluesey style seemed to fit her vocals best and she and Kenny did a wonderful job with it.
After an intermission, Jason Truby came out to play a short acoustic set of a few songs from his instrumental album, String Theory. The first was "And Man Became A Living Being" and the second was a Keaggy-ish DADGAD piece I don't know the name of (though bits of it reminded me of Phil's "Legacy" and "the Reunion"). Phil then emerged and the two of them played Phil's "Spend My Life With You" sharing in the vocals.
Finally it was time for the moment most were waiting for--Glass Harp! Daniel Pecchio joined Phil on bass and John Sferra took his place at the drums. Phil switched to the Les Paul and Jason stuck around and moved to electric guitar as well. They began with Dylan's "It's Not Dark Yet" and Jack Johnson's "Broken" with Jason on vocals and electric guitar. Phil took over vocal duties on a wonderful version of "John the Revelator" which led into a rockin' "Do Lord" before Jason left the stage.
Now that the trio was on their own and warmed up, they began to partially re-create the electric set from their 1972 PBS concert, which had released on DVD the week before. "Look In The Sky", "Never Is A Long Time" and "Changes" prove these guys haven't lost a thing since then and an extended "Can You See Me" could've served as a fitting encore to a great performance. Fortunately, there was more to come.
Ian was invited back for acoustic guitar and lead vocals on "Why", a song written by him and appearing on Phil's upcoming vocal album. This modern rocker is better suited to Glass Harp than solo acoustic and I prefer Ian's vocals to Phil's. And finally Jason came out to join the foursome for an INCREDIBLE and extended version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Kenny joining them about six minutes into the tune. The only thing missing from this nearly ten minute guitar extravaganza was Dave Beegle! Apparently, the others were so into their jam, they forgot to cue him in and he waited in the wings until the end.
Glass Harp played a shorter set than usual and at the end it felt like they were just getting going, but it had been a long day for all. The more live Glass Harp you see; the more you want! But whether it was 30 minutes or 3 hours, I'm really glad John and Daniel made the trip. And I'm glad I made the trip as well, it was a wonderful evening all around. It was so cool to see Phil and Ian together. I think Jason felt a bit out of his element, but he held his own and did some fantastic stuff, especially on electric with Glass Harp. I'm still more a fan of his electric playing, but I'd like to hear more of his acoustic work. The only disappointment was the lack of Dave in the encore, but aside from that, it was a fantastic show!!!
-- by Stephanie Bargenquast
Page Last Updated: January 11, 2007
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