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MYSTERY HIGHWAY, Phil Keaggy and Randy StonehillL
Posted by: uphillmike from: Julian, CA on
Phil Keaggy and Randy Stonehill
Phil and Randy have been good friends since they met 38 years ago. Although they have occasionally collaborated in the studio and on tour, their individual musical paths have been quite different.
Phil, with his band Glass Harp, led the way in live jamming. His solo music has been diverse, ranging from the early psychedelic-tinged-classical influence-rock jamming through Beatlesque pop, jazz, blues, celtic, classical, old-world, and more. Keaggy has pioneered, over the course of his career, many techniques, including the pinky finger volume swells that he created by swapping the volume and tone knob locations on his Les Paul, the use of the first E-Bow, and the one-man-band acoustic shows utilizing the LexiconJam-Man, an early looper, as well as many other innovative techniques.
Randy has always incorporated hefty doses of humor in his shows, and often in his studio albums, along with his trademark acoustic guitar styling and deeply insightful lyrics. Stonehill usually performs solo so he can take the song wherever it goes, as well as save a buck.
On this album they go with stripped-down straight-ahead rock, running through so many references to their influences it’s hard to keep up, all the while maintaining their own unique synergy. There is rock-a-billy , funky-blues-rock, Cream a la Disraeli Gears, Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd-meets-the-Beatles, Americana, yet none of it seems incongrous. Even on Rock Man, Randy’s hip-hop-influenced ad-lib completed by Phil’s instrumentation, it all fits together.
Written and recorded at Phil’s home studio whenever Randy was passing through or could make it to Nashville to hang out with his buddy, it was completed by Phil adding bass, drums, mandolin, more guitar and vocals, and utilizing the drumming of friends, most notably John Sferra, This album achieves its stated goals, such as giving the listener the sense of fun in the friendship of these two. As Randy says in the liner notes, “Phil and I are like apples and oranges…” Put them together, and let the adventure begin…on the Mystery Highway.
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