October 22, 2020

Keaggy Classic

By Chaplain Mike

Continuing with our music theme, I thought I’d give you some great sounds to kick off your Friday.

In the list of some of my top five albums, I mentioned Phil Keaggy’s “Love Broke Thru” (1976). This was Keaggy’s second solo album. He previously played with the band Glass Harp, who recorded for Decca Records and opened for such bands as The Kinks, Iron Butterfly, Yes, Traffic, Grand Funk Railroad and Chicago in the early 70’s. Glass Harp is considered one of the pioneer “jam bands,” and Keaggy’s improvisational guitar playing was a big part of that. In concert, they would extend some of their songs past 30 minutes.

Keaggy put his faith in Christ in 1970, after his mother was killed in a car accident, and the new direction of his life spiritually eventually led him to leave Glass Harp to pursue a solo career.

Phil Keaggy’s second studio album became a CCM classic, and the song “Love Broke Thru” a signature piece, though it was written by Keith Green, Todd Fishkind, and Randy Stonehill. Green insisted that Keaggy’s version be the first released version, and it has been identified with him ever since.

However, the song from the album that caught everyone’s attention, especially in concert, was the extended jam, “Time.”

When the Lord stops him, that’ll be it,
Too late for apologies.
Too late to forgive your brother,
Too late to get on your knees.
When the Lord stops him, that’ll be it,
Too late to help the needy
And worst of all it’s too late to turn
You must face eternity.
His name is Time, and he’s coming to an end.

His name is Time, where will you be my friend?

Here is a 1980 recording of “Time”—a good example of Keaggy’s amazing gift.


  1. Very talented. Remember “Love Broke Thru” like it was yesterday. For some reason, I’ve enjoy listening to interviews with him more than listening to his music.And I really like the music.

  2. “Love Broke Through” is one of my favorite songs as well…

    I have been reminded of that while seeing Keaggy play last year.

  3. This takes me back a ways. I think I remember Keaggy got his start playing local high school gyms and bars around northeast Ohio. At least I think I do! He came to know the Lord before I did. I remember finding his albums in a Christian bookstore after I got saved. I think he did a jazz album too. He is an exceptional guitarist. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

    I’m really diggin’ his Les Paul and the tone he gets. Most of the CCM artists I’ve listened to over the years go for obscure guitar brands and somewhat crappy tone. I’m always happy to see Les Pauls, Strats, and Teles being used like this 🙂

    • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

      Oh, and then around 5:30 he busts out the e-bow. I didn’t even know they HAD e-bows in 1980!

    • If you like Les Paul guitars, then watch the DVD of “Les Paul: Chasing Sound.” It’s amazing. You can watch the feature film on Netflix Watch Instantly, or get the DVD to see the supplements as well.

  5. Memories. We attended a smallish country church in Kansas City North, 2nd Creek Christian Church, from the 1977-1982 or so, and Jim DeLong and Curt Bartlett, two of Phil’s backup members, were on the worship team. Phil came and performed at the church, but I was too new in the faith to appreciate who he was, and knew too little about guitar playing to appreciate his skill.

  6. Yeah, check out the e-bow!

    My daughter just started taking lessons and it strikes me the decision we made on the teacher was very much like the Walter post. I had a choice between a nice studio filled with teachers with masters degrees in jazz guitar or a working guitar player with a daytime job who plays mostly by ear, lives in a very sketchy neighborhood and has been known to play delta blues on street corners for tips. She spent 8 years in piano doing the whole practice-your-scales thing and by the end of it she was just going through the motions. Too much theory, not enough feeling. Now she’s energized, loving her lessons and practicing every night. This week’s assignment is the theme from Peter Gunn, ha ha.

    • Isaac (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

      I had a similar experience. I had started playing violin in 2nd grade and had always been top of the class, etc, but really got sick of the formality of it all. I started playing guitar in hopes of shredding like a hair-metal guy, but landed in folk and blues BECAUSE of the simplicity.

  7. No Phil Keaggy post is complete until someone drags out the Christian Urban Legend that Jimi Hendrix/Eddie van Halen/Duane Allman/etc. was once asked how it feels to be the best guitarist in the world, only to respond “I don’t know–ask Phil Keaggy.”

    There, I did it.

  8. Wow this really jogs some memories! I’ve always loved Phil’s music. Love the instrumental CD he did with Jeff Johnson, “Frio Suite.” He has such a gift.

  9. Chris Moellering says

    I’ve seen Phil Keagy twice live. Once at a small college venue and once in a stadium. He is definitely supremely talented.

    This track sounds a lot like early Petra….or vice-versa, as the case may be.

  10. My favorite Keaggy album is the live recording, “How The West Was One,” from 1977. It was with 2nd Chapter of Acts and A Band Called David. Fantastic concert recording.

  11. I am a youth pastor and took my group to the Ichthus Festival this past summer. Keaggy did two sets that were amazing. The first set I had a few kids that agreed to tag along due to my hyping of the man’s skill. By the time Keaggy’s second set rolled around that night all 26 youth in my group were there with their jaws dropped. Very cool seeing a group of 14-18 year olds not only love a Phil Keaggy show but say it was the highlight of the festival for them.

  12. Often accused of featuring non-traditional (read that non-CCM) music on the air, I have many times lived up to my reputation by playing Phil Keaggy’s work. He and Randy Stonehill have done some wonderful collaborations, most notably their album “Together Live”. Give a listen to “Salvation Army Band” sometime! Phil Keaggy is a world-class player.

    Another guitarist brother who seems little known but is magnificently gifted is Keith Cooper. I would invite you to marvel at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmxMbG74r2o

    The world needs to hear this music. It would go a long way toward explaining the faith to those on the periphery of the church who are otherwise repelled.

  13. “As the Ruin Falls” is one of my favorites from this album. I didn’t know the words were by C.S. Lewis. It reminds me a lot of Bruce Cockburn’s “Fascist Architecture”.

    All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
    I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
    I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
    I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

    Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
    I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
    I talk of love –a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek–
    But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

    Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
    I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
    My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
    From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

    For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
    You give me are more precious than all other gains.

  14. Good memories. My personal fav was his first album “What a Day”. Not as well produced but great music and lyrics. He’s also been one of the more genuine and humble “spirits” in CCM over the years.

  15. He’s got an incredible discography, and is still recording and touring. I’ve driven as many as four hours one way to see him perform live, and it was worth every mile! Thank you for featuring him, Mike, you made my day. 🙂

  16. Had the fortune to see Keaggy play twice. Once with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and then in a small venue where it was just him. Gotta love “Salvation Army Band” played live.

  17. Christopher Lake says

    Phil Keaggy, Terry Taylor, Mark Heard. Three musicians and songwriters, unjustly pigeonholed into a “Christian music” ghetto (Keaggy less than the others though), and all better than most of what is on the radio today, whether “Christian” or not.

  18. Keaggy is amazing. Love the classic “ron burgundy” flute solo.

  19. Morning dude, i like your news site ! Have a nice day