Hear music from Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy’s Watersky and an interview with the artists tonight, Monday 11/5
Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy are important figures in different music worlds. Johnson came to renown as a modern instrumental keyboardist with a taste for Celtic music and a long-running partnership with Irish flutist Brian Dunning. Keaggy on the other hand, started out as a rock guitarist with his group Glass Harp before heading down multiple paths, from Country to New Age, all highlighting his prodigious guitar technique.
Where they came together was at the Laity Lodge in Texas, a religious retreat. They bonded around common musical interests and that led to a pair of albums: Frio Suite, which was an Echoes CD of the Month in 2009 and now, WaterSky.
WaterSky is as fluid as its title, moving though plaintive themes from Johnson on piano and Keaggy on multiple guitars and bass. Each piece is a multi-themed work: the opening, “When We were Young,” starts with a lyrical solo piano line and ends in a heroic, guitar strummed anthem with Keaggy’s quiet siren guitar lead.
Calling instrumental music “cinematic” is a critic’s cliché, but you can truly imagine this music backing scenes in a film. “WaterSky” could be the soundtrack of lost love, or a lament for a post-apocalyptic world. Johnson’s ear for production is impeccable on this track, featuring his own wordless vocals, reverse staccato voices and softly moving synthesizer pads caressing Keaggy’s multiple guitar lines.
Although inspired by the Frio River and Valley in Texas, the music of WaterSky exists in a world that includes a Turkish Ϛumbus, a long-necked banjo-like instrument, on “When Cicadas Marched” and trance-like moods on “The Cody Incident.” That track is powered by a an insistent percussion groove through Keaggy’s psychedelic guitar bursts through like a momentary flashback.
With WaterSky, Jeff Johnson and Phil Keaggy have created a music with images reflecting and shimmering through each other in a layered journey. WaterSky is an album that is as intimate as a fireside conversation and as expansive as the sky that arcs over the Frio Valley.
~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))
SPECIAL OFFER FOR NEW CD OF THE MONTH SUBSCRIBERS
For a limited time only new subscribers to the Echoes CD of the Month Club will not only receive the November CD pick, Jeff Johnson & Phil Keaggy’s WaterSky, but an additional THREE previous CD of the month picks absolutely free! With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like WaterSky coming to you each month. Join now and you’ll get Watersky plus three additional CDs. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.
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