|The Keaggy Olson SJ, 1983
|The Keaggy Olson SJ's
The guitar in these photos was Keaggy's original SJ, the one he plays now
was made after 1983. August 2006 I met Phil again in Memphis and he was
playing a brand new SJ having retired his 1984 Olson. Phil gave the '83 SJ
to a local Arkansas fellow he met at the 700 Club, read Pat Robertson way
The newest one was a tremendous work of art. Phil is gracious and allowed
my 14 year-old son to look it over and even play it. His selection was the
Beatles tune Blackbird, which he played flawlessly. Phil leaned over to me
and said, "He's a natural." Nothing could sound sweeter when the best
picker around compliments your son.
The new one was made 2005/2006. I remember sighting down the neck and
was it ever ruler straight. I saw no relief at all. The dove inlays instead of
descending the fretboard, were ascending toward the headstock. The
wonderful inlays were MOP but ringed in abalone, yes, it was a double inlay,
one inside the other. The outer abalone inlay was maybe 3/64's or 1/32nd".
As the guitar tech restrung the Langejans also present for the benefit
concert, I learned that Phil predominantly plays light strings, which surprised
me. Until now I didn't know there was another guage of acoustic strings
except mediums. Grin.
I must say that Phil Keaggy is a wonderful, genuine, talented man. He was
gentle, and humble, and kind. Just the kind of person anyone modeling their
life after Jesus would be. Meeting his daughter and watching them interact
reaffirmed all that I thought about this man and his love for his family. Wow.
One last word too, James Olson's guitars are absolutely beautiful. He set the
bar for much of the World's luthiers. Someday I hope to meet this fine
gentleman as well. Nice guitars.
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