The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Education Department Presents:

An Evening with

Glass Harp

Glass Harp would like to express heart felt thanks to our special friends! Friends who in some cases traveled many miles. Their gracious reception was appreciated greatly! It was wonderful chatting with you all!

We also thank The Rock Hall of Fame's Jim Henke, Aaron and Katie, who's warm hospitality Was beyond expectation!

Our gratitude also goes out to Denny Symes, John Schroeter, Joe Nero, Chris Bell, Ted Caram, Neal Williams, Mike Olszewski, John Awarski,

A very special thanks to:

Bernadette Keaggy, Kim Pecchio, Valerie Sferra.

May the Blessings of the Great One be on you for ever and ever....

More Pictorial Highlights

A Review
 Monday, April 21, 1997 Tribune Chronicle

Music, fanaticism as clear as ever

Glass Harp sparkles at reunion

By Andy Gray

Tribune Chronicle

CLEVELAND - The level of fanaticism was incredible.

One guy drove 1,208 miles from Dallas to be there, and several others came from out of state.

Some stood outside pleading for tickets. At least a half dozen people came up to the camera man from a Cleveland television station sitting next to me and inquired about whether they could get a tape of anything he shot. And most offered audio and video tapes from their voluminous collections in trade as an enticement.

I've seen this kind of devotion for rock stars before, but this was a local band whose brief career flamed out 25 years ago and only had limited commercial success at its peak.

But then the members of Glass Harp started to play, and it all made sense. Hearing Phil Keaggy, guitar and vocals; Daniel Pecchio, bass and vocals; and John Sferra (of Howland), drums and vocals, play together is proof that anyone who thinks the fanaticism is misplaced has never seen the band live.

The trio, which got its start in the late '60s in Youngstown, is an incredible band, even with the rust and rough spots that come from playing together only a handful of times since Watergate.

Saturday's reunion came at the Rock Hall of Fame, where the group is prominently featured in the exhibit "My Town," a salute to northeast Ohio's musical history.

The evening started with an informal interview and audience Q&A conducted by Jim Henke, chief curator at the museum and a Cleveland native who said Glass Harp was his favorite local band of the era. The three shared amazing and often hilarious stories of the thriving area music scene in the late '60s.

The band played a regular Wednesday night slot at JB's in Kent. The band that held the slot before them was the James Gang, and the band that followed them was the Raspberries. Keaggy said Joe Walsh once came to Youngstown to audition for one of his pre-Glass Harp bands, and Eric Carmen called him just before Glass Harp started and asked if he was interested in starting a Beatles-influenced group.

Glass Harp always was known for its ability to improvise, and Keaggy said "We certainly knew how to jam. In those days, we made up songs as an excuse to jam."

And Sferra joked that many of those JB's shows were, "Three sets and three songs."



Glass Harp played more than three songs when it reached the musical portion of the night, but the musicians still displayed plenty of inspired improvisation. Keaggy is a guitar virtuoso, whose cult of fans spans from contemporary Christian music listeners to guitar junkies. "Nelly's Tune," the solo instrumental showcase he chose Saturday, produced open-mouthed awe from the capacity crowd.

But while Keaggy's guitar playing usually is the first thing anyone mentions about the band, Glass Harp isn't a power trio with a brilliant frontman and an anonymous rhythm section that gets tossed a token drum or bass solo.

Pecchio and Sferra are equally accomplished and the interplay among the three was amazing. Keaggy's playing was colored and influenced by the tempo changes both players provided, and Sferra was quick to fill the hole with a rhythmic flourish whenever Keaggy went to adjust one of the seemingly endless array of effects pedals and knobs for his guitars.

The acoustic set that opened the show also revealed that Glass Harp was a band with three strong vocalists who each could sing lead and harmonize beautifully. The acoustic numbers, which included "Southbound" and "Black Horse," showed strong Beatles influence.

Keaggy's voice has a McCartneyesque lilt that becomes more pronounced when it's not competing with the wall of sound Glass Harp produces in its electric numbers.

The electric show focused on the songs from "Glass Harp Live! At Carnegie Hall," a CD released last week on the independent label Canis Major that was recorded in 1971. Songs like "Look in the Sky," "Never is a Long Time" and "Can You See Me' aren't timeless; they sound very much like a product of the era in which they were produced. But the sense of musical exploration with which they were executed Saturday wouldn't sound out of place on the H.O.R.D.E. Tour or many of the jam-happy bands touring today.

And Saturday, the three at least left the door open to recording some new music together, depending on Keaggy's schedule and the reception to the live CD. It's a prospect that has to thrill old fans, and one that could win them plenty of new ones as well.



Glass Harp will perform at 8 p.m. May 22 and 23 at Akron Civic Theatre. Tickets are $35 and $25 and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and by calling 1 (800) 493 7655

 To the top of Review
 To the top of this page

**Back to Main Page