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Keneally, Mike, Band: Guitar Therapy Live

Talk about nailing it and nailing it hard! Guitar Therapy Live is the album that serious guitar nuts have been waiting for Mike Keneally and his crew to make for years. This is his "guitar hero" album for sure! The band here is red hot, comprised of bassist Brian Beller, guitarist Rick Musallam, drummer Joe Travers, and of course Keneally on lead guitar, keyboards, and vocals. The music recorded this night is a mix of hard rock, jam-band, fusion, prog, and Zappa inspired weirdness.

The first thing you notice is that there's an incredible amount of groove to these songs, a lighthearted sense of humor, impeccable chops, and plenty of muscular crunch. "Beautiful" sounds like a late 70's Zappa number with quirky vocal and guitar interplay, not to mention killer bass lines from Beller. On "Lightnin' Roy" the band gets heavy, with some meaty guitar riffs and plenty of punchy grooves. Keneally really lays down some wild guitar solos, showing why he is such a respected player in the rock community. Fans of the jam-band scene will get a lot of mileage out of the songs here, as there is plenty of swaying and grooving improvisation going on that has a strong jazzy undercurrent, like on the ripping "Seven Percent Grade", which sees Beller and Travers perfectly in sync with each other while Keneally's keys and Musallam's guitar provides the lead melodies and riffs. Other smokin' pieces include the heavy rock "Quimby", the fusion laced "Panda", and the blistering avant-garde mania of "Spoon Guy", complete with some unbelievable guitar work from Keneally. If you like things a little more introspective, try the rootsy twang of "Pride is a Sin", or the atmospheric "Machupicchu". Otherwise, the rest of the CD is filled with fiery and raucous guitar rock, as heard in full force on "Cause of Breakfast", "Voyage to Manhood", and the wah-wah laced "Uglytown".

Honestly, I haven't heard tasty guitar oriented music this good in quite some time. With all the countless neo-classical metal shredders that readily come out of the woodwork, it's refreshing to hear an old pro come out with something this energized and refreshing which ultimately is so different from what you normally hear on a guitar record. This is thrilling music from an ultra-talented band, and I'm sure from somewhere up above Mr. Zappa is looking down with a smile on his face.

June 27th is the release date...get ready!

Track Listing
1) Quimby
2) Panda
3) Lightnin' Roy
4) Beautiful
5) Seven Percent Grade
6) Joe's Solo
7) Pride is a Sin
8) Machupicchu
9) Spoon Guy
10) Uglytown
11) Hum
12) Voyage to Manhood
13) Top of Stove Melting
14) 'Cause of Breakfast

Added: October 13th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Mike Keneally Website
Hits: 8231
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Keneally, Mike, Band: Guitar Therapy Live
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-10-13 13:57:30
My Score:

PRODUCT UPDATE: As if Guitar Therapy Live couldn't get any better, Mike Keneally and Exowax Recordings have recently released this live set with a bonus 2 hour DVD of The Mike Keneally band live at the famous Baked Potato Club in North Hollywood, California. This edition is a signed, numbered run of 3000 copies, and only available through . If the aural explosion that is the CD is not enough, now you can see all the action as it happened on stage, as the band tears through a scorching set of smoking hot, guitar oriented prog, fusion, jam mayhem. The camera work is up close and personal, so you feel like you are right up in the front row or even on stage with the band, and the sound is terrific. 23 tracks in total are on the DVD, so crack open a beer, sit back, and prepare to be mesmerized by some muscular and complex musicianship.


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