Phil Keaggy doesn’t always get his due. Those of you familiar with his work know what I mean. He’s a marvelous singer and guitarist who’s been around awhile, but because he records mostly Christian music, he is sometimes passed by because he doesn’t have that elusive Top 40 record. Don’t let that fool you. He’s as fine a player in the rock field as you’ll find, and this instrumental album helps prove that.
The opening cut, “Whatever Life Demands” showcases his chops and his great sense of melody. It’s funky rock and roll with some massive runs that will leave your mouth hanging open. And, he never lets up. There’s some straight blues playing out of the Jimi “Red House” mode. There are rock and roll jams that give Phil a chance to stretch out, anthemic cuts that allow us to see his talents using volume swells, chordal work, and a great sense of melody. In fact, all the tunes are written quite well, with melodies that will stick in your head.
If you’re not familiar with Phil, check this out. While his vocal work is also always good, this gives guitarists a chance to really hear him. A great player who’s deserving of more attention. Recommended.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s July ’01 issue.