Guitar Player is extremely proud to present two of the most accomplished daredevils in the guitar universe!
Mike Keneally is a true guitar virtuoso and a man of boundless, unclassifiable artistry. Keneally succeeded Steve Vai as Frank Zappa’s “stunt guitarist” in 1987, and his work with the legendary rock composer is documented on The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life, Make a Jazz Noise Here, and the politically charged Broadway the Hard Way. In 1991, Keneally headed-up the Grammy-winning Zappa’s Universe orchestral performance and began a five-year stint working with Dweezil Zappa’s band, Z. Since 1992, the humorous Keneally has released a steady stream of his own material, which combines his adventurous guitar approach and with a more straightforward, Beatlesque songwriting style. Keneally’s latest release, Dog [Exowax], was recorded with the same four-piece band that will perform at the Boom Boom Room—including bassist Bryan Beller and guitarist Rick Musallam—with the exception of drummer Nick D’Virgilio, who is replaced by Joe Travers.
“Dog is the first album I’ve done with a band that had been working and touring together, and had already developed a cohesive sound,” Keneally told GP. “I had a lot of time to think about it, so Dog is more polished and finely honed than my other albums. It’s also more vocal and song-oriented. There’s only one short instrumental, stuff stays in 4/4 longer, and there’s very little improvisation.”
Keneally is also a well-traveled collaborator, and one of his favorite co-creators is the incomparable Bay Area guitar hero, Henry Kaiser. Kaiser and Keneally were members of the Mistakes project, which also included original Dixie Dregs bassist Andy West and Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. Keneally also participated in Kaiser’s 2004 Sky Garden/Yo Miles tribute to the legendary jazz trumpet master Miles Davis.
A prolific experimentalist with over two dozen record releases to his credit and countless sideman appearances with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Bill Laswell, Kaiser is known for approaching the guitar in unconventional ways [with magnets, for example], creative effects applications, and a sense of logic that underlies his musical mayhem.
The Henry Kaiser Quartet opens the show, and it’s not a large leap to expect that the Keneally/Kaiser tandem will explore uncharted sonic territory together at some point during this exciting evening of adventurous guitar.