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Phil Keaggy’s Christian Music Provides a Soothing Balm for Today’s Ills

It's a disgusting, depressing world at the moment. It's true that this has been the norm every day since the Fall. That said, catastrophe is currently more prevalent than it has been in the past. Inflation. War. Scriptural misappropriation. Bloody conflicts. It can, and often does, quickly become overwhelming. We require real relief.

Enter Phil Keaggy.

In a career that has spanned over six decades, Keaggy's effervescent fire guitar proficiency in both electric and acoustic modes as well as his distinctive McCartney-esque writing skills for rock and pop have placed him in the ranks of the top performers–not just in modern Christian music but in popular music as well. The vast collection of his recordings may at first seem overwhelming to go through, and the recent reissues of his 1980 Ph'lip Side and 1981 Town to Town albums provide the perfect opportunities to become familiar, or reconnect, with this master musician.

Keaggy first gained public interest through Glass Harp. He left the group after three albums in pursuit of his own solo career. Ph'lip Side and Town to Town are crucial to Keaggy's early discography, and their re-emergence after a long period of silence is a great relief.

The first time it was released, Ph'lip Side had both predominantly electric and acoustic sides. The acoustic version featured heartbreakingly beautiful moments, such as the anti-abortion song “Little Ones.” The album’s highlight is “Let Everything Else Go,” with its pastoral, soaring beauty in music and words:

Chasing down hot air balloons on Sunday morning:

In pace with a familiar tune I reach for nothing less but something more

All the day and the wind is at my back most of the way

Holding conversation with a friend I know is near

Great anticipation fills my soul, it fills my heart, it fills the air

All the day and the wind is at my back

Oh, I can’t wait to see you, Jesus, face to face

Nothing in this world can take Your place

All the pride of man laid low and all his works of gold

Nothing can compare with what You are

Let everything else go

And the wind is at my back

Oh, I can’t wait to see you Jesus, face to face

Nothing in this world can take Your place

All the pride of man laid low and all his works of gold

Nothing can compare with what You are

Let everything else go

Let it all go

Let everything else go

The two albums, along with other studio work and numerous live recordings spanning the entirety of his career, are accessible via Keaggy's Bandcamp page. Listeners can sign up to enjoy the incredible quality of the amazing musicianship and flawless songwriting of Phil Keaggy. With the current shambolic headlines screaming at us, we need his calming, healing muse more than ever before.

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