Stunning command of guitar technique, allied to an ability to communicate. Everything instrumental rock should be!
Excellent Instrumental Rock and Blues Dec 17, 2003
In a departure from his normally acoustic instrumental offerings (Lights of Madrid, Beyond Nature and Acoustic Sketches), Keaggy offers up a selection of amplified tunes (hence the album title). While most of the music is heavily blues influenced there are a few songs that are a bit off the beaten track for the album such as Tennessee Morning. The work is a tour de force for Keaggy as he displays his impressive skill on the axe as well as his ability to interpret the music with great feeling and nuance (unlike some other guitarists who have profound technical ability but lack the emotional ability to bring a song to life).
I would highly recommend this album for any Keaggy fan as well as for those who like to hear someone just flat out wail. If you like what you hear, you may also wish to check out the outtakes from the recording sessions which can be found on Keaggy's "Premium Jams" two disk set which can be found at www.PhilKeaggy.com
Keaggy delivers a fine rock instrumental Jul 22, 2003
220 is and is not what one might expect. It is vintage Keaggy with a few twists. Make no mistake; the cover is certainly indicative of the content, but Keaggy offers a couple of detours along the way. The album opens with "Animal," a rocker with a whiff of southern and classic rock, along with a definite Keaggy-esque opening riff. "Arrow" begins with a reverse-recorded riff, then builds to an emotional crescendo. "Montana" is what the Old West would have sounded like had rock music been invented then. Keaggy uses a war-drum sound and an acoustic bridge. Then comes "Tennessee Morning." It is certainly the softest song on the disc, and carries Keaggy's usual understated acoustic style. His speed and talent are well-known, but on this particular track Keaggy displays his affinity for simplicity. "The Great Escape," no doubt a nod to the classic WWII prison camp film, is one of the most layered, and most urgent tunes. It's also one of the best on the disc. The basic tune has a cinematic ring to it, and about halfway through the song Keaggy breaks into a jam of sorts. "Stomp" is southern-flavored rock, "Highland" is celtic rock (complete with whistle and pipes), and "Beyond this Day" is reminiscent of "March of The Clouds." Track 9, "Ian's Groove," on which Keaggy's son plays drums, is bluesy and twangy, but it can best be described as "greasy." It even includes a live crowd at the beginning of the track. The highlight is Pat Bergeson's harmonica solo. The disc closes with "Watt Ever," a fun three minute jam with Keaggy, Spencer Campbell and Lynn Williams. This is an outstanding disc; it's great road music, and is a good one for the rock fan who's not heard Phil Keaggy.
WHAT AN ORIGINAL TALENT Feb 21, 2003
The Hellecasters still set the benchmark for instrumental guitar musik.( but they are 3 ) Johnny A. comes close and Phil is almost there.( and they do it on their own ) This is another very original CD from a true master of the guitar. ELEGANT METAL might describe the overall flavour, but woudn't do it justice as it dazzles with infinite variety and unpredictability. It is not necessary to pidgeon hole this virtuoso but if you have a passion for the guitar you will be rewarded with a feast of musik that may require you to re-assess your current guitar heros. Can't wait for the next one to be delivered to OZ.
Exquisite Aug 24, 2001
That's the best word I can use to describe this disc. Clean but not overly slick production, beautiful chord progressions, especially on "Arrow" and "Montana", and excellent compositions. Mr. Keaggy is no showoff. His lead runs are tastefully flashy ( yes, he combines the two ). "Tennessee Morning", "Beyond This Day" and especially "Highland" (I feel like I'm flying over emerald fields as this song fades off), are as beautiful as ANY songs by this artist. The supporting musicians play excellently. 220 is Phil Keaggy's Masterpiece. Thank you, Lord.