MIKE RECORDING NEW SATRIANI ALBUM, PLUS MK/BFD LIVE IN LA!

Two and a half weeks into the new year already? Holy frijole.

Type to you I do from Northern California where we (for the purposes of this sentence “we” means the Joe Satriani band) are currently holed up doing a solid eight-hours-a-day working on Joe’s next album. Of the three albums I’ve done with Joe this is the first where the particular group of musicians doing the recording have a solid history of all performing together (for Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards the musicians met in the studio, and then we toured for a couple of years; for Unstoppable Momentum we made the album and haven’t played together again since). After two-ish years of touring with the Satriani/Keneally/Beller/Minnemann assemblage we know each other like fine monkeys know one another, and the recording process has been an extraordinarily smooth sail. Bryan and Marco have completed the rhythm tracks and Joe and I are currently goofing around with my overdubs. (I’m finally playing some guitar on a Satriani record.) It’s been a joy really. Upon the album’s release later this year, the Satriani touring machine will lurch back into action mode.


But first, I am about to lurch back in time into mid-’90s BFD mode:

JANUARY 21 at THE BAKED POTATO

A legendary club in the dank environs of beautiful Hollywood-transitioning-into-North Hollywood California…

(3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City, CA 91604 to be precise)

Presents

MIKE KENEALLY & BEER FOR DOLPHINS

(mid-90s power trio style)

featuring BRYAN BELLER and JOE TRAVERS

performing loads of old favorites

(including one pretty majorly obscure entirely insane composition not played live for around 19 years or something)

TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SHOWS (aside from the fact that we’ll play the aforementioned insane composition at both shows)

9:30pm and 11:30pm

IF YOU CAN BE THERE, DO! BE! THERE!


Then, on January 30, we got kind of a special show at Java Joe’s in San Diego. Last month I met a couple of very cool musicians at a holiday party thrown by the San Diego Troubadour (who stuck me on the cover of their December issue): Jeff Berkley, a local guitar player I’ve respected for a very long time, and Jamie Shadowlight, a violinist who was new to me. I heard them both play that night and was instantly struck by their spirit and musicianship. Hanging out with them along with my dear friend Claudia Russell from San Diego radio station KSDS Jazz 88.3, and Joe Flammini, proprietor of the venerable acoustic venue Java Joe’s, we all got to talkin’, and the result was the planning of this unique trio performance:

JANUARY 30 2015

MIKE KENEALLY, JEFF BERKLEY & JAMIE SHADOWLIGHT TRIO

Super excited to discover what sort of chemistry results from the meeting of these three elements.

(Playing a bunch of material together which we still need to decide upon – we will begin emailing one another repertoire ideas shortly – any requests?)

JAVA JOE’S – 3536 ADAMS AVE. SAN DIEGO 92116

8:00 PM


Other news – Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee just recorded a bunch of drums for Scambot 2. And there’s a couple more gigs coming up soon – early February I’ll be appearing with Brendon Small, Joe Travers, Pete Griffin and Steve Agee in San Francisco, and in early March MK/BFD will be performing at WesFest 10.

Much more about all of that in – THE NEXT KENEALLIST! RUN TUN TUNNNNNN!

Mike

Unique MK Baked Potato show Thursday! Plus 20% off Keneally stuff ends Friday!

Hola! Hope you’re all doing well.

For the last few days I’ve been ferociously shedding “Tarkus” and “Utopia Theme” and various Chicago tunes and several Marc Bonilla pieces that I haven’t played in 24 years, in prep for the Baked Potato Night Gallery gig this Thursday. We’re doing some of my tunes also. Doing two shows, of which the first one appears to be sold out (thank you!), but if you haven’t already bought a ticket and you can come out to the second show we would love to see and hear you.

That’s Thursday December 11 at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles, Southern California, California! Night Gallery! Be! There!

The kind generous folk at Exowax Recordings would also like you to know that this Friday December 12 is the last day of the Keneally Store Holiday Sale. So you have a few more days to get 20% off all of the stuff, and make somebody’s holiday the freakin’ happiest ever. From now through Friday, all merchandise is 20% off if you use the promo code MK2014.

OK, back to practicing “West Virginia Fantasies”…

Happy holidays!

Mike

 

 

 

 

 


SAN DIEGO TROUBADOR MK COVER STORY NOW AVAILABLE

I’m on the cover of the December issue of San Diego Troubadour, a trusted and venerable publication here in SD, and I’m entirely humbled to have been granted this honor. Jon Kanis interviewed me for the piece and it was a very comprehensive interview. I’ve known Jon forever, and he knows me like the back of his hand so it’s a pretty thorough article. It’s online now, and the version of it that is made out of paper is now in music stores and coffee shops and pizza emporiums and hipster establishments.

In-depth interview with Mike

Mike at the piano. Photo by Dan Chusid.
Mike at the piano. Photo by Dan Chusid.

http://sandiegotroubadour.com/2014/12/treading-the-boards-with-mike-keneally-maestro-masterstroke-in-98-time/

Happy holidays from Mike! Plus 20% off!

Just in time for Thanksgiving, 21st-century craftsman and serious Keneally fan David Floyd gifted Mike with a unique rendition of Atticus Wolrab‘s Flower Gramophone logo from Mike’s mostly acoustic Wooden Smoke album. It’s an illuminated laser engraving on acrylic, mounted on wood, and it stuns. If you’d like to ask David about something in a similar vein, you can say hi to him at brightlivelihood@gmail.com.

Happy holidays everyone! Ho! Ho, ho!

I’m back from all the Satriani touring – the Unstoppable Momentum tour dates stretched out, on and off, over 18 months, 143 dates in a bunch of countries and it was an extraordinarily enjoyable time – I hope you got to see one of the shows, ’cause I didn’t get to see any of them. Now I’m home and grateful, and also back at work on Scambot 2 which is shaping up to be as crazy and epic as you might expect. Right now we’re getting the place ready for Thanksgiving but I needed to tell you about some stuff.

The stuff is these:

KENEALLY STORE HOLIDAY SALE

The Keneally Store has got a holiday sale for all your gift-giving needs! From now until December 12, all merchandise is 20% off if you use the promo code MK2014. All of it! Your wishes are coming true already! Ho! (Ho.) Ho!

NIGHT GALLERY GIG

On December 11 there’s going to be a special show at the Baked Potato in LA – it’s the debut performance by Night Gallery, a group consisting of Joe Travers on drums, Marc Bonilla on guitar and vocals (I was a member of Marc’s band in the early 90s), Jonathan Sindelman on keys, Bryan Beller and Travis Davis trading off on bass, and myself on keys, guitar and vocals. We’re playing a bunch of the stuff that we all grew up loving – “Tarkus” by ELP, “Utopia Theme” by Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, and a medley of some of our favorite Chicago tunes, along with a selection of Marc’s and my originals. This is such an unusual project and a real labor of love. I asked Joe and Marc if they had something they’d like to say about what the show means to them, so that I could share it with you Keneallist readers – here’s what they had to say:

“When I released EE Ticket and American Matador at the beginning of the ’90s, I had the incredible luck of happening upon Mike Keneally and Joe Travers. They brought with them their own brand of musical expertise and corroded sense of humor, which was invaluable to me as much then as it is now. After a good long 20 years and change, to get back up on stage with these gentlemen is a thrill long overdue…and playing some of the music that made us who we are today. Broke. But seriously, folks, with any successful band, it’s all about the hang. And this extraordinary league of gentlemen – Mike, Joe, Jonathan, Travis and Bryan are all about the hang. And what contributes to the hang will invariably affect the music we create together. Personally, I can’t fucking wait.”

– Marc Bonilla

“Life is short.

I had been wanting to do something like this with Mike for a long time now. We had discussed it a few times in passing but during a dinner with Marc & Mike recently, I felt strong about asking them if they would be interested in playing together doing material that we know & love, combined with original material from both of them, just for the hell of it. Bringing together the rhythm sections to participate made total sense. Enter Bryan Beller & Travis Davis of course. We all knew how to play the stuff (well…….most of it anyway). We just needed to find a keyboard player. Welcome Jonathan Sindelman. Good news for us!

Marc & Mike were playing together right around the time I moved to Los Angeles. Their drummer was Toss Panos & thanks to wonderful Toss, I was recommended to Marc’s Dragon Choir line-up. Mike had already stopped playing with Marc by that time, but Mike & I were together in Dweezil & Ahmet’s band “Z.” As life does, everyone goes down their musical journeys and pathways……..causing us all to play with a variety of musicians and gig situations. I’m really grateful that all of the musicians participating in this special event were willing to devote the time and energy to make it happen. We all share these influences, all were inspired at one time or another with the work of ELP, Todd Rundgren, & Chicago. We grew up with these bands and their contributions mean a lot to us. So for the love of the music, & the hang of good friends, we share this with you.

Night Gallery

Rock on”

– Joe Travers

Reading their words is getting me doubly excited for the gig. It’s going to be a huge amount of fun. We’re doing two shows and I believe the early show is already sold out, so secure your tickets for the late show tout suite, you.

THE RETURN OF BEER FOR DOLPHINS!

I’ve had a hankering to return to the trio format for live gigs with Bryan Beller and Joe Travers for some time, so in 2015 we’re going to be doing some gigs in the US and abroad. The Keneally/Beller/Travers trio did tons of Beer For Dolphins gigs in the ’90s. The name Beer For Dolphins has been in retirement for well over a decade now but I had the urge to resurrect it for these trio gigs.

And so shall it be! The return of Mike Keneally and Beer For Dolphins power-trio style kicks off January 21, 2015 at the Baked Potato. This will be NAMM week and the place is likely to be packed with scenesters, so get your tickets early, you!

SAN DIEGO TROUBADOR COVER STORY

I’m on the cover of the December issue of San Diego Troubadour, a trusted and venerable publication here in SD, and I’m entirely humbled to have been granted this honor. Jon Kanis interviewed me for the piece and it was a very comprehensive interview. I’ve known Jon forever, and he knows me like the back of his hand so I’m anticipating a pretty thorough article. It’ll be online soon, and the version of it that is made out of paper will be in music stores and coffee shops and pizza emporiums and hipster establishments in San Diego any moment now.

ANTAL ADRIAANSE and STUDIO TAL

Antal Adriaanse (we call him Tal) has been a hugely great friend to us for years now, and was the motivating factor behind the keneally.com redesign last year. He is one superb individual. I’d like to encourage anyone who needs some assistance with websites, web shops and social media to visit his site. And tell him Bob Hope sent you, ’cause I think that’s funny.

Thank you for reading and please have a severely joyous holiday season!

Ho!

Mike

Tae Kwon Do, Keneally-Style

Tae Kwon Do student Rook Kolessar chose Mike’s “Day of the Cow, Pt.2″ to accompany his first demonstration at school. Rook’s dad John thought we’d like to see how it turned out. Kinda surreal. We’re wondering what other activities might benefit from that song!

Nov. Satch dates down under, plus new G4 Experience!

Joe Satriani with Mike, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann:

Nov 01 – ASB Theatre – Auckland, NZ
Nov 02 – The Opera House – Wellington, NZ
Nov 04 – The Tivoli – Brisbane, AU
Nov 06 – State Theatre – Sydney, AU
Nov 08 – Palais Theatre – Melbourne, AU
Nov 09 – Her Majesty’s Theatre – Adelaide, AU
Nov 11 – Astor Theatre – Perth, AU
Nov 13 – Star Theatre – Singapore, SG

And the second annual G4 Experience has been booked in Cambria, CA for June/July 2015!

Here’s Joe and the boys to tell you all about it:

English translation of new Italian interview

Recently an interview with me was posted on the Cronaca Torino newspaper website, link here. With the kind permission of the interviewer Alessandro Gazzera, here are the original interview questions and answers in English as conducted via email:

1. Hello, mr. Keneally and thank you so much for the interview, It’s really a pleasure for me. First of all, why don’t we start with the new tour with Joe Satriani in South America? How to play with musician like him?

I’m having a great time playing with Joe. It’s constantly inspiring and challenging to play guitar next to him – he plays with such ease and mastery, and when we’re trading solos on guitar I definitely need to be at the top of my game. It was an unexpected surprise to get a call from him in 2010 asking me to work in the studio with him, and there has been a lot of recording and touring in the years since, and it’s always enjoyable. I’m glad he called me.

2. Mike Keneally have a really long career with a lot of collaboration. What is the secret of your success?

I just refuse to stop making music. I keep at it and over time I guess more and more people find out about what I’m doing. It’s important to remain open to collaboration; even though I spend a great deal of time working on my own projects, I try to do as much work with other musicians as I can when I’m called about doing other recordings and live gigs. It’s good to mix my own energy with that of other artists, and in terms of career exposure it makes a lot of sense to put myself out in front of different audiences. Playing in front of Satriani’s audience the last few years has been great, and I also play live with a metal band called Dethklok which has given me a very different sort of exposure that I would never have expected. It’s all great and it’s all helpful.

3. What is the most important moment of your career?

Probably when I decided to pick up the phone in late 1987, call Frank Zappa’s office and ask for a job. Frank had no idea who I was – hardly anyone did – so there was no reason to expect he would hire me, but if I hadn’t taken that ridiculous leap, things would have turned out very, very different for me.

4. When did you start to play the guitar and the keyboard?

The keyboard was my first instrument. I received an electric organ for my seventh birthday and loved it immediately. Never having played one before it still felt somehow familiar to me, and I remember walking up to it and picking out the melody to “Paint It, Black” by the Rolling Stones. I still wanted a guitar very badly, mainly because of my love for The Beatles. Four years later, on my eleventh birthday, I got my first acoustic guitar and began teaching myself to play based on what I knew about music from playing the organ.

5. In Italy we really love Frank Zappa and you played in his band for very long time. What do you remember of that period?

I was in constant disbelief that I was in his band at all. I was such a huge fan of Frank’s while I was growing up, and the idea of playing with him seemed like an unobtainable dream. I remember watching Frank onstage during his guitar solos on “Inca Roads” and being practically dizzy in the surreality of the moment. But I also remember hours of laughter during rehearsals putting new music together, and Frank using my familiarity with his repertoire to help bring older, long-unplayed songs back into the setlist, like “Who Needs The Peace Corps?” – if I hadn’t been in the band it’s quite possible that song wouldn’t have found its way back into the repertoire. I’m glad I was there!

6. The italian fans really like you work with Steve Vai. What, in your opinion, the best album you worked on?

“Alive In An Ultra World” was really special because Steve kept writing new songs during the tour for us to learn and play at the shows. He was very busy writing and we were very busy learning, and that made it an extremely unusual tour and I’m glad there’s such a good document of it. But the most special for me is “Vai Piano Reductions Vol. 1,” where I did solo piano arrangements and performances of 11 of his songs. He chose the songs, but gave me total freedom in how I chose to interpret them. It was the hardest album I ever made because solo piano is such a naked and unforgiving medium. But I was very happy with the results, many people have enjoyed the album and most importantly, Steve himself was thrilled with what I did. I couldn’t ask for a better result.

7.  For know better you: what do you think about Italy? Here you have some fans…

I am half Italian (on my mother’s side) so it’s always a good feeling when I get to Italy. The people are wonderful, I love the architecture and sense of history. And the food of course! I’ve had countless great experiences on tour in Italy and look forward to many more.

8. Project for the future?

At the moment I’m primarily concerned with completing work on my next album, Scambot 2. It’s the middle installment in a trilogy; Scambot 1 came out five years ago so I’m very eager to continue work on the second volume. I’ve done a lot of work on it already, in fact I’ve been working on some arranging for it while on the road with Joe Satriani in South America. My hope is to complete the album in the first part of next year, but part of the Scambot concept is that I don’t push too hard with it – it’s a very intricate, multi-layered, narrative work and it kind of has to happen on its own schedule. I’m excited about it though and am eager to share it with the world. But first I’ve got some more touring with Satriani in a few weeks in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, and early next year I’ll be in the studio with Joe working on his next album. So Scambot 2 has some competition for my attention – but it will be completed next year.

9. Is there a particular artist that you’d like to work with?

Wayne Shorter and Neil Young – ideally both at the same time.

10. Favourite Food?

I don’t think so. There’s so much good food I can’t think of one that stands above all. I wouldn’t want to make any other food feel bad by neglecting it.

11. What do you do in your free time?

I relax with my girlfriend Sarah playing various computer and board games, going on walks, and I love to draw ridiculous pictures.

12. Is there a model for you? Who has most influenced your music?

So many people have had major influences on my music – The Beatles were the first and were a huge influence, Frank Zappa obviously and perhaps he had the greatest impace. But Andy Partridge’s songs for XTC were also a major influence, Todd Rundgren had a major impact on the way I write chord progressions, and John Coltrane was like a lightning bolt for me in terms of improvisational approaches. Miles Davis and Bob Dylan in terms of staying true to your artistic impulses, and The Residents and Captain Beefheart for being unafraid to be absolutely incomprehensible at times. Radiohead for atmospheres and emotion. And a million others.

13. A message for our readers

I very much appreciate anyone who’s taken the time to read this interview, and I look forward to returning to Italy soon. I always relish the chance to play there. I’d also encourage anyone who’d like to know more about my music to visitwww.keneally.com, and you can link from there to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as to Radio Keneally, on online radio station playing my music 24 hours a day.