Biography by Jason Ankeny
One of the first Christian-themed pop/rock acts, Glass Harp included singer/guitarist Phil Keaggy, bassist Dan Pecchio, and drummer John Sferra. Formed in 1969 in Youngstown, OH, the group -- a free-form power trio in the tradition of Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and fellow Buckeyes the James Gang -- quickly developed a strong local following, and in 1970 they signed to Decca to issue their self-titled debut LP. Synergy followed a year later, but after 1972's It Makes Me Glad Glass Harp disbanded; Keaggy went on to enjoy considerable success as a CCM solo act, while Pecchio later co-founded the Michael Stanley Band.
Since the mid-1970s, Keaggy, Pecchio and Sferra have reunited a number of times, including several well received performances in Ohio, and a short tour in 2000. The 2000 reunion tour included a sold out performance with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, which was recorded and released as a 2-CD set, entitled Strings Attached.
In 2003, the group released Hourglass, their first new studio album in 31 years. Well-received by fans and critics alike, the album drew on various musical styles that demonstrated Glass Harp's many influences and individual talents.
In 2004, the band went on a short U.S. tour in support of their triple-live album Stark Raving Jams (a collection of various live instrumental and improvisational material from throughout their career). The album/tour served to successfully re-introduce Glass Harp into the jam band scene, in which they are now considered a pioneering group.
Since 2000, Glass Harp's touring groups have included (at various times) instruments such as trumpets, trombones, saxophones, mandolins and violins. Most frequently, the band is joined by keyboardist Chris Queen, formerly of the Athens, Georgia, funk band Mr. Tibbs.
The band's original three Decca studio albums have been re-issued twice on CD. The first time was by a German company in the 1990s and more recently by Music Mill Entertainment in 2005. The Music Mill re-issues were re-mastered with bonus tracks and updated liner notes.
In 2006, Glass Harp reunited for a concert to celebrate the release of their first DVD, Circa 72. The DVD is the first official release of their long sought-after 1972 PBS concert, and includes rare outtakes, home movie footage, and a commentary track by the band.
Glass Harp remains semi-active as of 2008, performing limited headlining concerts. In addition, Daniel Pecchio and John Sferra frequently appear with Phil Keaggy when the guitarist has a solo performance in or around Ohio.
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