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2 Aug 2017

Glass Harp "Live! At Carnegie Hall" 1997 (recorded in 1971) US Psych Rock


Glass Harp "Live! At Carnegie Hall" 1997 (recorded in 1971) US Psych Rock

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More than four decades ago, a teenaged guitar phenom named Phil Keaggy burst onto the music scene. Keaggy and childhood friend and drummer/guitarist John Sferra were joined by bassist Dan Pecchio in Glass Harp, recording three albums for Decca before dissolving the band in 1972 when Keaggy was only 21. The band has reunited briefly for several concerts over the years, but rumor has it that the final Glass Harp concert will be July 27, 2002 at the Creation West festival in George, WA. (Note: Happily, that turned out not to be the case, and Glass Harp has continued playing and recording.) To commemorate Glass Harp's legacy, we're looking at a special album in the band's history.

A major highlight for Glass Harp was opening for The Kinks at Carnegie Hall in November 21 of 1971. The concert was recorded, but for some reason remained buried until 1997, when Live! At Carnegie Hall was finally released. It could be disappointing to see that this recording has only five songs, but when you realize that Look in the Sky is over 10 minutes and Can You See Me checks in at just under 29 minutes, it should be time to rejoice.

This is a great CD for all Keaggy/Glass Harp fans, or anyone else who loves vintage early 70s extended jam sessions. The recording quality is excellent, and the band is amazingly good when you consider how young they were--Sferra was 19 and Keaggy just 20, but his patented volume swells and lightning licks are already evident.

The final song, Can You See Me, features solos by all three band members (Pecchio's is a flute solo) and incorporates the song One Day At A Time before ending up the set with Keaggy's uncompromising lyrics: "Jesus died for you and me/that we may live eternally/through Him there is a peace we can share."

Consider that Keaggy wrote those lyrics in 1970 as a brand-new Christian, a teenaged rising rock star about to record his first album, and you realize just how bold and uncompromising he was. He wasn't about to water down the message when he had the opportunity to play Carnegie Hall.
by Randy Brandt............

You are likely looking at the band Glass Harp because it is linked to Phil Keaggy. He is a very eclectic artist; and Glass Harp, which was a solid rock band from the 70s, is a bit out of the mainstream of his larger body of work. But it is a great album; and if you are trying to find Phil Keaggy’s brilliant guitar playing you will not be disappointed with this album. The other 2 members of the band are not slouches either. So, if you like the “Rock” music of the early 70s you will find the acquisition of this album to be a real gem in your collection....By Wartyson.....

28 minutes of “Can You See Me”? A daunting proposition, but one I would be ready for – one day. After all, this is Phil Keaggy! That’s what I told myself when I picked up this CD. “Oh, no,” I can hear you say — “too much hippie music!!” Some of the preconceived notions about this CD recorded in 1971 in New York City at one of the world’s most prestigious venues. Opening for the Kinks that night, this Ohio band had 45 minutes and, according to the CD’s adequate liner notes, the band was ready. They had opened for all the heavies that came thru the Midwest: Traffic, Yes and Grand Funk just to name a few. They often played to audiences of 20,000 or more. Carnegie Hall seemed small compared to that – still, the band was worried that the New York audience would not take to them or that they wouldn’t play well enough They needn’t have worried. Nearly 54 minutes of music here. Yes, Phil Keaggy is the showcase. He is quite phenomenal, getting loads of various sounds and ideas. Add to that some blinding speed and accuracy — and most important, never losing the sense of melody in the music and you have Phil at his best. But it isn’t only him. It is the band’s chemistry. John Sferra (drums and guitar) and Keaggy had been in hands together since junior high. Dan Pecchio added bass, flute, harmonica and a strong singing voice to the band. They also had a top rate presence in Lew Merenstein who had produced the Van Morrison albums Astral Weeks and Moondance. It is one of those things that just worked. It could happen that way in the magical late ‘60s, early ‘70s This CD will not bore you. Remember the period in which it was recorded. Set aside time to enjoy it. Yes, there is a drum solo – a short and creative one, at that. Get an earful of Keaggy – he is amazing here. Dig the interplay of these guys. Togetherness. A very fitting View of the band live. Another thing – at this time the entire band were believers. There are no holds barred on the lyrical presentation. BF 53:51 (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott)...............

Playing extended solos and long group improvisations at their concerts Glass Harp is recognized as one of the early pioneers of jam rock. The members were virtuoso guitar legend Phil Keaggy, bassist Dan Pecchio and drummer John Sferra. They were a power trio in the tradition of Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the James Gang. Glass Harp released three studio albums on Decca Records "Glass Harp" (1970), “It Makes Me Glad” (1971) and “Synergy” (1972) which reached 192 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart. They disbandedin 1972 when Keaggy went on to an award winning solo recording and performing career in Christian music. Dan Pecchio co-founded the Michael Stanley Band. Glass Harp reunited for a reunion concert in 1988 and has since released six recordings and made numerous concert appearances.

Youngstown Rockers

In 1968 guitarist Phil Keaggy age 19, along with longtime friend drummer John Sferra and bassist Steve Markulin formed the legendary band Glass Harp. They began playing at clubs in the Youngstown area and recorded demos. In 1969 they released the single "Where Did My World Come From?" on the United Audio label. Markulin left the group to join his cousin Joe "Ting" Markulin's group The Human Beinz. Phil and Dan recruited bass player/flautist Daniel Pecchio a former member The Poppy.

The band's following grew quickly across the vibrant Northeast Ohio music scene that included the the James Gang, the Human Beingz and Law. Glass Harp's hot spot was JB's in Kent Ohio.

After winning an Ohio area "Battle of the Bands" one of the contest judges contacted Grammy winning record producer Lewis Merenstein convincing him to come to Youngstown to see Glass Harp in concert. Hearing Glass Harp perform Merenstein recommended them to 

Decca Records.

Decca signed Glass Harp to a multi-record deal in 1970. They recorded their first album "Glass Harp" at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios. In support of the album they toured the U.S. opening for The Kinks, Iron Butterfly, Yes, Traffic, Chicago, Humble Pie, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and Grand Funk Railroad.

Memorable Concerts

Glass performed a ground breaking live concert on PBS in February 1972. It was one the first concerts to be simulcast on both television and early FM radio. The recording was finally released as the “Circa 72” DVD in 2006. The band went on the headline shows from the Fillmore East to the Winterland Ballroom. In the Fall of 1972,Glass Harp played at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall opening for the Kinks. They received a thunderous ovation from the audience. Their live performance was released as the “Live At Carnegie Hall” CD in 1997.

Break Up

Phil Keaggy played a final gig with Glass Harp on August 6, 1972 at My Father's Place in Roslyn, New York. He left the band to begin his award winning and prolific solo career in Christian Music. Keaggy became seven-time recipient of the GMA Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year and was nominated twice for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album. Keaggy has released more than solo 50 albums.

Guitarist Tim Burks replaced Phil Keagey joing Glass Harp on a tour of East Coast colleges and universities in September 1972. Violinist Randy Benson joined Glas Harp in April 1973. The new four piece Glass Harp played progressive rock in the style of King Crimson and The Moody Blues. October of 1973 violinist Randy Benson left the group and they continued to perform as a trio with Sferra/Pecchio/Burks. Their last concert was on December 2, 1973 at Norwalk High School, in Norwalk, Ohio. The group broke up at the end of 1973,

Sferra and Burks formed the group Hartship in 1974. Sferra later became a studio musician and produced his own music. Daniel Pecchio became a founding member of the Michael Stanley Band. 
 Reunions 

Glass Harp reunited in 2001 to record the "Strings Attached: Live" album performed with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. They recording again in releasing Hourglass (2003) and the concert jams compilation CD “Stark Raving Jams” (2004). Glass Harp released “Live at the Beachland Ballroom 11.01.08” in 2010. They band became play short- concert tours in 2000 and has continues to perform together at several concerts each year since.........

Glass Harp
Phil Keaggy - Guitar, Vocals
Dan Pecchio - Bass, Flute, Vocals
John Sferra - Drums, Vocals

Tracks
1. Look In The Sky (Keaggy, Sferra, Pecchio) - 10:16
2. Never Is A Long Time (D. Pecchio) - 3:33
3. Do Lord (Keaggy, Sferra, Pecchio) - 3:59
4. Changes (J. Sferra) - 6:27
5. Can You See Me (D. Pecchio, P. Keaggy) - 28:56  

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