Keneally cut his teeth as the stunt guitarist in Frank Zappa‘s 1988 band. He went on to record over a dozen of his own albums and appeared on dozens more by Zappa, Steve Vai, Henry Kaiser, and many more. Keneally is the National Music Director of the Paul Green School of Rock, and the Music Director of the new San Diego branch. The All Music Guide considers Keneally “the leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era.”
When asked by the San Diego Reader in a recent interview to describe his music, Keneally said:
“It’s essentially rock, with equal emphasis on improvisation and strictly composed things. There’s a lot of guitar in it. I’m mainly known as a guitarist, although keyboard was my first instrument, and I play a lot of different instruments on my recordings. Dynamically, melodically, rhythmically, and lyrically, it’s real diverse and eclectic. I love a lot of different musical styles, and it all gets mashed in.”
Minnemann’s career began in his native Germany and has toured with the likes of Nina Hagen, the Buddy Rich Big Band, Necrophagist, Terry Bozzio, and now, Keneally Minnemann Beller. He is known for his amazing four-way independence, along with his unusual drum kit set up (multiple foot pedals, a gong, electronics and unique cymbal configurations).
Bryan Beller landed a gig with Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa’s tweaked rock project Z, straight out of Berklee College in 1993. Also on board was Mike Keneally, and in a lasting gesture of solidarity with his avant-garde pop/rock/fusion musical vision, Beller left Z when Keneally did in 1996. Twelve years, seven albums, and countless tours later, their musical partnership continues to this day. He still found the time to work and tour with Steve Vai and Wayne Kramer, has released two solo albums, and is a Contributing Editor for Bass Player magazine.
In the first video, (KMB) perform Keneally’s classic instrumental “Cheddar” (Hat, 1992) live at The Baked Potato in Studio City, CA on November 1, 2008. In the second and third videos, KMB perform “Dolphins” and “Bullys” (both from ‘Boil That Dust Speck‘, 1994) live at Channel-25, El Cajon, CA, July 20, 2008.
These are really quite amazing videos. To paraphrase a very famous quote, “Jazz rock fusion isn’t dead, it’s lurking somewhere in California under the name of Keneally Minnemann Beller. To view other KMB videos click here.
As an extra related tidbit of trivia, does anyone recognize the narrator in the following Chris Opperman track, “Ain’t Got No Beef”(Oppy Music Vol.1: Purple, Crayon, 1998):