Mike Keneally – Hat.

First heard of Mike Keneally on a radio show by Co de Kloet celebrating Frank Zappa’s music. It must have been around the 1988 FZ tour. This is his first full-blown cd, very eclectic, spontaneous. Maybe a musicians’ cd, but who cares. It definitely has a Mike Keneally feel to it already. It ranges from harmony vocal popsongs, heavy rock, experimental fooling around. Songs don’t have the standard lyrics: listen to The Car Song. References go back to the 70s (Eno and the Actor), and 80s (cf. XTC). Definitely one of my all time favorites.

The hat – if I’m correct – he received from a fan in the Netherlands during a Z tour. Just as the BeatlesĀ  got their hats (cf Help) from the 1964 canal tour in the Netherlands .

 

Mike Keneally and Beer for Dolphins – Sluggo! (1997)

Ah, this one is nice. Mike Keneally is one of my all-time favorites. There are some artists you always buy the next record of, regardless. This, again is a mix of catchy, yet quirky pop / rock song, and some reaaaaaaaally weird stuff.

Some say his guitar playing resembles Frank Zappa’s. Well, he has rough edges in his playing and he definitely likes to solo. Which here works great. He also plays the piano, which makes this album quite diverse. His voice, although not one of the best vocalists, is quite pleasing to hear. Many would say his music is particularly appreciated by musicians. That’s probably true, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Some highlights: Why am I your guy?, Potato, Tranquilado. Two special songs are Chatfield Manor and Beautiful.

The band rocks. Some long time members such as Bryan Beller, Toss Panos and Joe Traver. But also Mike Mangini who payed with Steve Vai. Well, Keneally played with Steve Vai regularly…