CANTON — A local church is shining the light on a talented and award-winning gospel musician with an upcoming concert.
The Upper Room Fellowship is conducting a concert March 7 at 7 p.m., spotlighting multi-Dove Award artist Phil Keaggy and his lifelong friend Caspar McCloud, the church’s senior pastor.
The concert is benefitting Changed 2 Ministry, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the poor, homeless and those otherwise in need. Canned-food goods will be accepted at the concert for delivery to the ministry.
Keaggy’s solo career has spanned more than 30 years, and has included more than 50 solo albums, both vocal and instrumental, as well as eight releases with his band, Glass Harp, according to his published biography.
The guitarist spent most of his younger days involved in music, and at the young age of 13, he joined his first band, the Keytones. He later went on to join such local groups as The Vertices, The Squires and the Volume Four, who later changed their name to New Hudson Exit, his biography said.
In 1970, his band Glass Harp (with childhood friend John Sferra on drums, and Dan Pecchio on bass) recorded their self-titled first album. Glass Harp gained more popularity in the Ohio area, opening for such bands as the Kinks and Yes, and even performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Over the next few years, they recorded two more albums titled “Synergy” and “It Makes Me Glad.”
By 1972, Keaggy saw his life going in a different direction, and made the tough decision to leave Glass Harp and pursue a solo career.
His first solo album, “What A Day,” was recorded in 1973. He married his sweetheart, Bernadette, that summer and the following year, they moved to Upstate New York and joined a church community called Love Inn.
With the Christian Music industry beginning to grow, Kaeggy won his first Dove award in 1988 for his instrumental album, “The Wind and the Wheat.” His second Dove Award came in 1992 for his Celtic-influenced, “Beyond Nature.” Each year from 1998 to 2001, he has dominated the Instrumental Record category at the Doves, winning for “Invention,” “Acoustic Sketches,” “Majesty and Wonder,” and most recently “Lights of Madrid.” For three years in a row, Keaggy was voted one of the top finger-style guitarists by Guitar Player Magazine readers.
According to his bio, he is aware that God gave him a calling to deliver the Gospel through his music.
A love offering will be taken at Friday’s concert, which will be at the Church of the Messiah at 415 Charles Cox Drive across Highway140 from the Kroger in Holly Springs.
For more information, visit www.theupperroomfellowship.org.