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Glass Harp at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park
September 2nd, 2007

It was a bittersweet concert night for Glass Harp fans on a gorgeous evening of Labor Day Weekend, 2007. Billed (in the Cleveland Free Times) as the "Glass Harp Farewell For Now Concert," the rocking trio plus Chris Queen and guests played out in the country at Nelson's Ledges in front of a capacity crowd. Another great show was performed by this phenomenal band that is, at least temporarily, putting live concerts on hold so band members can focus on recording and other projects.

The fans were a mix of youthful and mature music lovers with an appetite for Glass Harp Band type rockin', jam music. Even some admittedly "old hippies" were in attendance, as polled by bass guitarist Dan Pecchio. Sad that (at least temporarily) fans won't be able to hear this much- deserving band live after this evening.

Phil Keaggy, John Sferra and Dan Pecchio were ready as always to answer the call for spirit guided music. Few bands can combine musical muscle with grace and melody in the manner of Glass Harp. Led by masterful, virtuoso, lead guitarist and vocalist Phil Keaggy, the band played out memory lane tunes from their early roots to their latest from the HourGlass CD. No half time break during this program. Just straight ahead music numbering about 22+ songs in all.

The stage set adjacent to the quarry ledges and swimming area was adorned by a sun crowned motif at roof top along with a Ledges Quarry floater. The GH concert began at sunset and ended about 2 ½ hours later under a super clear star studded sky. During the concert, a cool and effective on-going light show ignited the stage with colors and shapes reminiscent of the 1960's and 70's. In fact, we heard a fan screaming out to GH, "Take us back to the 70's!" and overheard many comments reminiscing about the era of peace and love.

Although Glass Harp will be out of the concert scene for now, true GH fans know that what's in their hearts and the message are what matters most. Glass Harp will always be there with us in spirit. Just look in the sky and hear the songs in the air……..

SET LIST and COMMENTARY

Glass Harp opened with one of Phil Keaggy's patented warm-up intro instrumentals leading into classic Children's Fantasy - about a 15 minute electric delight followed by Song of Hope.

The first part of the concert was heavily loaded with favorite acoustic songs (perhaps attributed to some sound adjustments in progress). "Just Always" a real heart–melting acoustic song was performed during a string of at least eight acoustic songs in a row. Cathy, my wife, and I listened to that cherished tune over and over again during high school days in the 70's. What a special song……..

Glass Harp, known for there celebrated zesty jams and improvisational rock schemes, can play the acoustic numbers along with harmonizing vocals just as well. The trio was outstanding during the acoustic set this evening. That's what makes this band so great - an extensive repertoire and blend of acoustic songs and melodic lightning bolt rock influenced by many genres of music.

John Sferra, the hard working drummer, was outstanding on vocals and acoustic guitar - playing along with Phil, perfectly complemented by Daniel's bass and vocals. After the acoustic set, GH proceeded into electric oriented In Every Cathedral from Hourglass. Guest musicians were then highlighted on guitar while PK humbly stepped back and alongside for Can You See Me Brother, a Fleetwood Mac blues song Watch Out, and In a Cold Sweat a la James Brown. PK appreciates talented musicians and always graciously includes them.

Glass Harp then went back to work with the standard excitable movement on JTR. The musical artillery on drums is brought forth by John Sferra's tremendous drum solo. Solos by Chris Queen organ and Dan Pechio Bass contiribute to the build up of excitement.

Next on the agenda was "From the Beginning", the song that in my opinion was the highlight of the evening for guitarists and musicians. PK`s seasoned musical maturity, guitar virtuosity, artistry and creativity were full display on From the Beginning. Add Chris Queen's nice touch on the organ and vocals from the trio.

The last part of the concert featured PK's memorable What A Day, and GH's Do Lord, David and Goliath, and the closer - a fantastic rendition of What's in You're Heart (from Hourglass).

After a brief deliberation with pleading screams from the crowd Glass Harp came out for an encore with a medley of 7 in a Box, Gloria and Salvation Army Band featuring an organ solo by Chris "Crispy Cream" Queen (as Phil called him).

The Set List went something like this:

1) Children's Fantasy – Phil starts on Zion and finishes with Les Paul

2) Song Of Hope – "far away and yet so near, a brighter day will soon be here".

3) Southbound – sweet, sweet harmonies!

4) Ships Are Sailing – poetic – "light a candle, say a prayer, thoughts of you surround me everywhere" – highlighting John Sferra vocals and acoustic guitar

5) You Whisper Something – mostly Phil solo acoustic, add vocal harmonies.

6) Black Horse – by this time, it's dark and the sky is starlit – one of trio commented: "sounds like a campfire song".

7) On Our Own – remarkable performance, a JOY to hear! Phil changes the lyrics from "I see the trees in the meadow" to "I see the trees at Nelson's Ledges" – the crowd applauds!

8) Everlasting Light – "shine for all to see, like a star at night".

9) Just Always – A heart-throbber! Always a part of us. Even the band couldn't recall when they last played this one. Thanks, guys. Beautiful lead vocal, John, and harmonies.

10) Garden – exquisite vocals

11) In Every Cathedral – Phil still on acoustic guitar. John puts down guitar and goes to the drums. Daniel's bass takes hold.

12) Can You See Me? – Guest guitarist Tim Askin from Sultans of Bing (also on the concert billing this afternoon) was invited on stage for this one. Chris Queen joins the group. Real 60-ish touch to this one – nicely done. Phil and Tim jammed together.

13) Fleetwood Mac's - Watch Out – Fuzz guitarist Mike Baranski onstage taking charge on this blues rocker – WOW! (The Fuzz is Dan Pecchio, John Sferra, Mike Baranski)

14) James Brown's - In A Cold Sweat – Dan Pecchio charges out and takes the vocal lead on this one; his son Ted really moved the bass line while Mike Baranski and Phil trade off leads. A precision, soul- filled specialty all the way around – Ha! Uh! Ah! ….

15) John The Revelator – The power trio and Chris Queen rock out! Everyone has a chance to do a solo. Dan adds a vocal effect dimension to his brief solo – cool! The crowd also appreciated John's impressive drum solo, Phil's guitar work, and Queen's royal keys!

16) From The Beginning – Phil on Zion – lotta guitar tricks – loops and layers – unique sounds. Again, Chris Queen adds a nice touch to complement Phil's work. We look up at the star-filled sky as GH sings "He stretches out the heavens like a canopy…Be exalted, Oh God, above the heavens"

17) What A Day – classic Phil Keaggy – and What a Night!!!!

18) Do Lord – (from the GH signature Trilogy) Phil chants "I took Jesus as my Savior, you take Him too… Look away beyond the blue". Leads into overtones of Happy (from Play Thru Me), which leads into...

19) David And Goliath – I feel like I'm on my journey to heaven hearing this one!

20) What's In Your Heart – finale – quick-moving song played gracefully in GH style

21) Encore – Requests: Seven In A Box leads into a bit of Day Tripper and G-L-O-R-I-A Gloria, snippet from Strawberry Fields, leading into...

22) Salvation Army Band – a great song that Phil often plays at solo concerts. Chris Queen's extended solo completes the evening.

Glass Harp was the top-billed band featured in a full day of concerts which started in the early afternoon. We arrived at Nelson's Ledges just before Glass Harp took the stage. We heard great reviews regarding Ted Pecchio's performance with his band, which also played that day. Per the July 31, GH Street Team newsletter:

"Most recently Ted has been a member of Col. Bruce Hampton and The Codetalkers, and has just recently been asked to join the band of Grammy Award-winning artist, Susan Tedeschi (www.susantedeschi.com). Susan is the husband of Derek Trucks, the notable guitarist with both Eric Clapton and The Allman Brothers and is someone who counts himself as a Glass Harp fan."

It was great to see GH fans there – Neal Williams, Potterick, Tim Studecker, Rob and Tammy Toti, and other Special Friends. It was a special treat to be greeted by John Sferra as we pulled into the Nelson's Ledges entry gate. Keep Smiling, John! You are in our hearts along with Phil and Daniel.

Thank you, Glass Harp for all the joys of your music. God bless all.

Joe Petelin

 

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2004, Stephanie Bargenquast - Updated June 29, 2004