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220 Cover

Phil Keaggy's 220 is High Voltage!

Keaggy has been one of the worlds's guarded secrets. A very gifted
fretman---just phenomenal.... Without reservation, anyone with a love or
an interest in the instrument needs to hear 220...
Should be included in any guitar hound's collection.
---JAM Magazine, 4-star review

Named after the high voltage 220 volt US electric power standard (110 volts is what's available out of most normal North American outlets), Phil Keaggy's newest instrumental album features an eclectic mixture of over-the-top work on electric guitars, extended jams, tonal experiments, and even a quietly lyrical track where Phil's acoustic playing is featured.

For a professional review, read Dave Urbanski's review of 220 and Acoustic Sketches. This review appeared in CCM Magazine in September 1996; visit the CCM September 1996 Album Reviews page for the official version, including soundbites. Also, see the review of 220 at The Lighthouse (an online Christian music magazine).

220 should be available at your local record store. If not, ask them to order it (it's distributed by Sparrow Records), or order it online. Among the various online distributors currently carrying 220 (at a discounted price!) are Compact Disc Connection and CDnow!.

The official release of this album has been much-anticipated by Keaggy fans. Below is a track-by-track description of early mixes, courtesy of Keaggy friend and fan Robin Eastburn. It will give you a taste of what you'll find on the recording, and careful readers will find in it a description of a track that didn't make the final record (due to copyright hassles). It's a beautiful cut that should appear on a future Keaggy project, so stay tuned!

"Go out today and preach the Gospel...

220 Cover

... and if you must, use words."

[Quote from St. Francis of Assisi, from the liner notes of 220.]

Hi V

This Spring Phil finished recording a new instrumental album, scheduled to be released by Sparrow Records in August. Named after the high voltage 220 volt US electric power standard (110 volts is what's available out of most normal North American outlets), the album features some over-the-top work on electric guitars, although it also offers quiet and lyrical moments on both acoustic and electric.

A few lucky folks have heard the final mixes, and have offered their impressions to us Phil-O-Philes, in order to whet our appetites for the August release. Here are the track-by-track impressions of Robin Eastburn, a long-time friend of Phil's:

1. Stomp
A great opener, really heavy electric guitar work.

2. Arrow
Possibly my favorite. Strong bass line, kind of reminds me of background music for NYPD Blue! Let me know what you all think when YOU hear it!

3. Highland Rock
Irish/Scottish feel, complete with bagpipes and fiddles. Original demo had the guitar with the lead, but the fiddles do the lead in the final mix. [Editor's note: In early demos, this track was remeniscent of Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover;" Eric sites Phil as an influence on his guitar tone in a recent Guitar Player interview.]

4. The Great Escape
Remember this one from Backroom Trax 2? Well, it's now about 7 minutes long and completely overhauled. Drums make it sound great!

5. Tennessee Morning
Originally titled "Joy In the Morning" for the demo Phil did. The final mix is similar, just with real drums and bass. Nice acoustic piece. [Phil discussed the origins of this tune in his Way Back Home interview, Phil Keaggy: In His Own Words; it is a musical sequel to "When Night Falls" from Beyond Nature.]

6. If I Were An Animal
Originally recorded as a vocal piece, taken from a story that kids wrote. This electric version rocks. At times, it's like Phil got the guitar to even make animal sounds!

7. Beyond This Day
"March of the Clouds" [from The Wind And The Wheat] Part 2. Listen to it, and you'll know what I mean. [Phil's youngest child, Ian, named this one!]

8. Montana
A remixed version from the Backroom Trax version.

9. Ralph's Peace
A Keaggy arrangement of a Ralph Vaughn-Williams piece. [This is based on a movement from a Vaughn-Williams quintet Phil heard on an album titled Quartets. It has been retitled "Phantasy," the title of the Quintet.] Phil had hoped to have this on Acoustic Sketches, but saved it for hopes of being on this album. Originally, it was turned down, but once Phil's keyboard player heard it, he convinced everyone this should be an album song. Phil's very proud of it. [For newcomers to Vaughn-Williams, his first name is pronounced "Rafe". His influence on Phil extends way back; for further information check out the Other Keaggy-Related Resources page.]

9. Ian's Groove
Actually recorded a few years back, Phil's son Ian at the drums playing a beat that Phil looped over and again. Ian has his first drumming debut on his Papa's record!
Many thanks to Robin for sharing her impressions! I can't wait!

An advance review in CCM Magazine says of 220:

Maestro Keaggy pops back into the studio for another go at an instrumental album; this one, as the title suggests, is mostly electric. Joined by several new players, Phil has taken completely new songs, revamped some basement tapes, and created live jams, in order to produce his most versatile and satisfying work in some time. Playing with an abandon seldom heard in his studio work, Keaggy sets new standards as a guitarist and composer.

Hi V
(The IEC Standard "Dangerous Voltage" Symbol)

By the way, these are not (to my knowledge!) the album graphics! I'm just havin' a little fun, folks....

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