the 10th in our series of unique and wonderful Acoustic
Guitar duo recordings ...finds legendary guitarist Phil Keaggy along with his lifelong friend and picking partner Mike Pachelli creating a place of great joy and beauty for all who listen to visit for the better part of an hour!
From the artists.....
and I have been friends since the late sixties. We used to play
acoustic guitars over the telephone when I couldn't get a ride to his
house. He has played on three of my previous CDs, but this is our
first full length recording. Phil has a natural and
mature understanding of melody, chords and counterpoint certainly
prevalent on this recording. With all his talent, he remains a
humble man of God as well as a gracious friend, brother and
I would like to point out that the live duets on TWO OF US were
an improvisational stream of consciousness. The first song we
recorded, "Old Friends", occurred like this while at Phil's Nashville
studio: Mike -- "What key do you want to play in?" Phil --
"How about B minor?" Mike -- "OK" Phil -- "1-2-3-4..." And then
we played.... I would like to thank Phil for so graciously giving
his time and talent while recording these duets.
I hope you enjoy TWO OF US.
Mike has always been a dedicated player as long as I’ve known
him. It has always been a mutual dream to make a project like
this, and now here it is! TWO OF US began at my studio in
Nashville recording live duets. We simply put mics on the guitars
and played. Later that evening, we edited the tracks and heard
potential for something really special. We then started sending
files back and forth to each other. Mike mixed some and so did I.
We continued our collaboration via the post, email and the phone.
My wife, Bernadette, really enjoyed the music Mike and I were
making--and she doesn’t throw out compliments for grins. ;-) That’s a
good sign! She’s been very honest with me over the years of my
recordings. I should’ve listened more often! ::--))
Hope you all enjoy this recording--I certainly am!
about the tunes.....
1-Maccadocious - E Keaggy/Pachelli
mp - The rhythm of this song reminds me of early McCartney, our
favorite Beatle as kids. Phil came up with the malapropism
title. pk – I sent Mike this piece and it just came together
really well. I tuned my guitar down 2 steps for my leads on this
2-Bears Den Road
- Am Keaggy/Pachelli mp - Named after the street Phil
was living on when we met. It was right around the corner
from my Aunt. I first noticed him because of his cool
fold-away bike. pk –This tune started at Mike’s studio in
California. We decided to send files of our ideas back and forth
where we could really tune in, hone and edit the parts. Yeah, I took a
bad spill on that bike back then.
3-Westside Talkin' - E (Live Duet)
Keaggy/Pachelli mp - We grew up on the West side of Youngstown,
Ohio and always joked that our voices blended because of something
in the water. This one is Phil and me talkin' with our
guitars. pk - This jam has more than a few surprises. I dig the
tension. Good tension. Attention!! Listen up! Then, it
relaxes into that place where no one knows the names of the
chords. Fun lines here and there too. The tuning down of the E
string is another one of those unexpected moments.
G (Tuned Down a 1/2 step) Keaggy/Pachelli
mp -You can hear the birds in the back of the rhythm track as they sung
on a beautiful West Hollywood morning. I especially like the
melody Phil played on this one. pk – Mike sent this piece to me
and I really loved the places he went with his part. This tune
really shows how Mike and I are truly brothers on our
5-Remember When - Em
(Live Duet) Keaggy/Pachelli mp -The kind
of Em to Am groove we've jammed on many times. We were really listening
to each other play and it led us to some interesting places. pk
-These jams were a lot of fun. We lost ourselves in the moment
and something very special was created. This is the one where I
scat a tad.
Gm Keaggy/Pachelli mp - Phil told me I might
have read his mind regarding the melody playing I did on this
song. pk - Another piece I came up with and had Mike
do his thing. Very nicely done!
7-For John & Val -
DADGAD Keaggy/Pachelli mp - I must have been
unconsciously thinking about John Sferra's song "Just Always" (from the
second album by Glass Harp) when I was recording the original
track. pk – Mike sent me this track in the mail,
and he called it “Strummer”. As it developed, I kept thinking of
John and Val. When the "Just Always" bit came in, I knew it had
to be dedicated to our dear friends.
- Bm (Live Duet) Keaggy/Pachelli mp -The first song
we recorded together for TWO OF US at Phil's Kegworth Studios in
Nashville, Tennessee in May 2005. Again, we listened to each
other and reacted. pk - This sounds arranged, but it was totally
improvised. It is jazzy here and there, but -- also stylistically --
our way of improvising together.
9-County Down Revisited
- D (Live Duet) Phil Keaggy mp - A remake of
Phil's brilliant song from his "Beyond Nature" CD. One of my all
time favorites that I like to play at gigs. pk - I’m glad you
like this one Mike and thanks for suggesting we do it here. The song
brings me back to the day I wrote it and stumbled on it by way of
picking up a friend’s guitar that was tuned in DADGAD. I
went home and wrote this.
10-Song Of The Woods
- Bm Keaggy/Pachelli mp -The sort of ingenious
melody that Phil has sitting on his shelves. I very much
like the ringing guitar overtones that occurred. pk – This little
piece was a part of an hour of playing and recording from which several
songs emerged. It had to have been around 5AM.
- DADGBD Mike Pachelli mp -This sort of tuning
lends itself to fun melodies with plenty of open strings so I thought
I'd make this one answer itself. pk - I like this one, Mike. Glad
you did it. I’ll make a cup of tea while you play both parts!!
- Dm Phil Keaggy mp - Here's Phil doing a solo duet
that proves he is one funky groovin' dude! pk – Glad to have
found a home for this song. It stands out as very different
sonically from the rest. I was sampling a new magnetic pickup
made by Baggs and recorded this piece with it. There is no mic on
this one at all. It clears the palette, I think—a groovy
13-The Walk -
D (Live Duet) Keaggy/Pachelli mp - When we were
growing up we'd take long walks in Mill Creek Park or in the woods
across from Phil's house. Now we do it in the hills of Tennessee.
pk – Yes, I remember Mill Creek Park...seems like yesterday. This is a
pleasant way to close the CD. It feels like an epilogue to me. Glad to
have this as the final live cut on "Two of Us". I hope
everyone who hears our CD will enjoy it as much as we did making
From Minor 7th.Com
Phil Keaggy & Mike Pachelli, "Two of Us," Solid Air Records SACD 2061, 2006
"Synergy" was the title of Phil Keaggy's second album as the
leader of the 1970s rock band Glass Harp. He would have done well to
save that title for this, his first acoustic guitar duet CD with
longtime friend Mike Pachelli. Keaggy and Pachelli individually are
gifted guitarists, but on "Two of Us" there is a true synergy which
lifts their playing, a telepathic give-and-take which sounds as if
their improvisational interplay was meticulously composed in advance.
Pachelli describes the duets as "an improvisational stream of
consciousness" -- that metaphor especially rings true on "Westside
Talkin'," a piece of jazz conversation which sees the fleet-fingered
duo trading free-form licks, pleasing perhaps even to Coltrane fans.
But that is the only foray into avant-gardism on this disc. "Old
Friends" is totally improvised and beautifully wistful, unfolding
confidently like a story though the ending is, in fact, unknown even to
the writers. Many of the tunes do rely on arrangement rather than
improv as on "County Down Revisited," a remake of a song from Keaggy's
Dove-Award winning CD "Beyond Nature." "Two of Us" is reminiscent of
that landmark recording and is some of the best instrumental acoustic
work that Keaggy has ever done. Keaggy and Pachelli have tapped into
the power of synergy, and we as listeners luckily get to reap the
© Alan Fark
||Phil Keaggy & Mike Pachelli