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Glass Harp/Synergy/It Makes Me Glad
Artist: Glass Harp
Label: Music Mill Entertainment
Length: 11 Tracks – 53 Minutes/11 Tracks – 42.12 Minutes/11 Tracks – 38.08 Minutes
Folks, what you have here is pretty much the holy grail of early Christian rock (and a mighty important relic of mainstream “classic” rock for that matter)! After a 30-year domestic out of print status Glass Harp first three masterpieces–the self titled Glass Harp, Synergy, and It Makes Me Glad–are available again in excellent reissues from Music Mill Entertainment. The impressive Glass Harp reissues all feature original cover art, newly penned liner notes, and a bonus track from the band’s own vault on each release to cap them off in fine form. The albums are all digitally remastered and sound better (and louder) than the hard to find, expensive German issued versions that came out in the early '90s.
These three albums are an essential time capsule to classic rock and Christian rock aficionados. Glass Harp was/is a progressive rock power trio featuring Phil Keaggy on guitars/vocals, Dan Pecchio on bass/flute/vocals, and John Sferra on drums/vocals. These three fantastic performers rode to the top of an Ohio music scene that produced groups like The Raspberries & The James Gang (with Joe Walsh). After attaining solid regional success in touring, Glass Harp was signed to Decca Records. These albums were each produced by Grammy® award winner Lewis Merenstein (Van Morrison, Spencer Davis Group, Gladys Knight, John Cale) in the legendary Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios.
Like many LPs created during this creatively fertile time, Glass Harp’s albums feature a wide variety of musical styles: hard rock, jazz, progressive sounding tunes, gentle folks harmonies, psychedelic rock, and even a dash of soul–all wrapped around a tasty pop-rock center. The lyrics are buoyantly optimistic for the most part, and Keaggy speaks much about his newfound faith. Keaggy contributes (surprise!) incredible guitar (love that Ebow) and solid vocals, but Pecchio’s solid bass work/haunting flute pieces and Sferra’s driving drum backbeat can’t be overlooked. Each band member makes solid contributions, and Glass Harp’s legendary live performances chock full of jaw-dropping improvisation were evidence of this (and thankfully several live albums by Glass Harp are now available). Fans of Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Moody Blues, early Electric Light Orchestra, Roy Wood, and The Move (and just about any late '60s/early '70s rock groups) will find much to love in these three albums.
An editorial aside: The self-titled first CD Glass Harp should have been on the list of the top 100 Christian albums of all time that was released by CCM magazine. Take your book out and write this one in folks, it ougtta’ be there!
f you have not delved into Glass Harp before, there has never been a better time. Start with these three CDs and then check out their recently released reunion Hourglass. If you like what you hear you’ll need to get the live reunion on Strings Attached and compare it to the classic Live! At Carnegie Hall set. If you want to go really deep dive into the classy three CD live rarity set Stark Raving Jams. If you are already a fan, then you need no introduction to these three classics, just order them. Now.
A big ol' pat on the back goes out to Music Mill Entertainment and the members of Glass Harp for re-releasing these stellar albums that fans can enjoy again and again.
You can check out more about Glass Harp and preview each CD here: http://www.glassharp.net/
Check out Music Mill Entertainment’s site for more reissues (including the long out of print Fool’s Gold featuring Dan Fogelberg’s backing band and members of the Eagles): http://www.musicmill.com
DJ Barry 10/23/2005
Barry Nothstine hosts Soul
Frequency (http://www.soulfrequency.com ) a weekly FM radio show showcasing
progressive rock, instrumental rock, power-pop, psychedelic rock, rock
classics and more—great rock for the ages!