In the late ’60s and early ’70s a power rock trio from Youngstown, Ohio called Glass Harp reached for the stars. They must have made contact, as references to stellar events seem to pervade much of their music. As a reviewer of their debut album observed,”…no fewer than five songs mention the sky, and three of the remaining ones talk about things like stars, rainbows, and the moon.”
They were a bare bones group in the tradition of Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, and fellow Ohio band, The James Gang. But Glass Harp developed a signature sound of their own-a progressive one that allowed the members, collectively and individually, to stretch beyond the confines of standard form; breaks in songs for guitar, bass, flute, and drum solos were de riguere , as extended improvisations that would take the bands performances into the late hours.
The trio’s following was particularly amazed by the lighting style and precise technique of the bands 18 year old guitarist Phil Keaggy, who aside from his youth, had the use of only nine fingers. Neither strike impeded his ability to produce highly lyrical solos. Combined with the tasteful, rhythmic bass lines of Daniel Pecchio and the sharp, assertive drumming of John Sferra, Glass Harp created a wall of sound that would thrill sell-out capacities across the upper Midwest and beyond.
While the band dissolved on the cusp of achieving mainstream rock stardom, they garnered a large and loyal regional following. National notoriety followed as they toured with the likes of, Traffic,Yes, The Kinks, Humble Pie, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, and Grand Funk Railroad. ” They were just the warm-up group,” recalls a journalist of the day, “But it was the first time I had heard a local group and felt that I had heard the headline concert.”