Phil Keaggy will recreate album on stage

By Tom Weber

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Recreating a masterpiece is always difficult — especially when attempting to do it live.

That’s the challenge Christian music guitarist Phil Keaggy faces in recreating live on stage his 1978 album "The Master and the Musician," as he is doing on his current tour.

"I never did get worrisome over it, but I was concerned that we would be able to pull it together," Keaggy said by telephone from his Nashville-area home.


So he was mildly surprised when he and a six-piece band debuted the all-instrumental "The Master and the Musician" in three concerts last month. "It turned out to be nice and quite delightful," he said.

Keaggy and his band will perform the album in concert April 11 at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester.

The idea of doing the entire album, which is regarded as a landmark in Christian music, came from two members of his band, Keaggy said. He was initially somewhat reluctant.

"It’s a lot of work to learn the whole album for one show," Keaggy said. "So they made a tour out of it."

Keaggy began his career in rock bands, including Glass Harp, before going solo and becoming a Christian artist in the early 1970s. He has long been regarded as one of the finest guitarists in any genre.

For his current concerts, Keaggy has gone back and pulled out the Les Paul guitar he used on "The Master and the Musician," and has painstakingly tried to replicate his original guitar parts.

"On ‘Agora’ I play electric guitar literally lick for lick, just to keep it as true to the original as possible," he said. "I’ve been doing so much acoustic stuff over the years that it’s nice to get my hands on that electric guitar again. It’s a real nice listening experience."

To read more about Phil Keaggy, go to


If you go

What: Phil Keaggy in concert

When: 7:30 p.m. April 11

Where: Autumn Ridge Church, 3611 Salem Road S.W., Rochester

Tickets: $30 golden circle, $20 general, available at Christos Bookcenter, 252-9090, and online at


Phil Keaggy

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