Bryan Beller (and Mike Keneally) ripped my head off... acoustically!!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Ian Perge, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    I lack the words. Well, I obviously don't as I'm typing some now, but I just got back for seeing guitarist Mike Keneally and bassist Bryan Beller on their current clinic tour for Taylor Guitars - Keneally on a pulled-from-the-store-wall midrange Taylor acoustic and new T-5 Thinline acoustic/electric, Beller on his absolutely stunning sounding AB-4 acoustic bass guitar. Usually clinic tours are simply hawking the product, but Taylor's are much more along the line of "concert with a tad of information about the instruments" and it's obvious that MK & BB are extremely proud of their roles as clinicians for "a musical instrument company, not a company that just happens to make musical instruments".

    The setlist was as follows, a great mixture of both Keneally songs both acoustic and originally electric, two songs from Beller's solo debut, and covers of Jerry Reed's "Amos Moses", Herbie Handcock's "Watermelon Man" with fellow Taylor clinician and National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Pat Kirtley who was in the audience, Zappa's Inca Roads (mp3 track), and the Medley From Hell:

    Keneally's "Cheddar" > 5/4 groove (mp3) > Bass solo > Zappa's "My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama" > Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song".
    1. Hello
    2. Bober
    3. The Car Song (in honor of Beller totalling his last week)
    4. Bear Divide (Beller)
    5. Supermarket People (Beller)
    6. Cheddar > 5/4 Groove > bass solo > My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama > Immigrant Song
    7. Intermission
    8. Amos Moses (Jerry Reed)
    9. Li'l
    10. Physics
    11. Splane
    12. Watermelon Man (Herbie Hancock) performed with Pat Kirtley
    13. Thanksgiving
    14. 1988 Was a Million Years Ago
    15. Inca Roads
    The truly wondrous and special moment was that the I requested the "Cheddar > 5/4 Groove > Bass solo" section of the Medley From Hell. If you listen you'll realize it's a absolute killer of a piece of music, and I'd had it in my head that that's what I was going to request ever since the clinic tour was announced, was absolutely prepared to be denied, and not only dumbstruck that they performed it but that during the 5/4 groove MK specifically said to BB, "He wanted a bass solo". I seriously feared for my life at the hands of BassBoy after that shenanigan, but not only were BB and MK as polite and warm as always, but I was granted my wish of playing BB's Taylor AB-4 acoustic bass guitar "for as long as you'd like" (in Beller's words - it was actually until the store owner politely kicked me out. ;))

    Requesting a bass solo from one who describes himself as a bassist who's not good at soloing (a complete and utter fallacy made clear after "View") is one thing, but given 15 minutes with a instrument that most likely costs just about as much my entire setup altogether? I'm surprised I didn't cause a crack in the top from sheer karma.

    Twas a magical night. Add to the fact that White Castle was picked up in Lexington on the way home, and it appears the magic will not be ending for at least 12 hours... :eek:

    I should have been more one-the-ball and posted this earlier, but if you at all have the chance to catch one of the upcoming shows, I highly recommend it. Music simply doesn't get any better than this. :D All shows are free unless noted:

    Columbus, Ohio
    Guitar Center
    Wednesday, March 16, 7 p.m.
    (614) 436-2600

    Monroeville, Pennsylvania
    Guitar Center
    Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m.
    (412) 372-8800

    Frederick, Maryland
    Make 'N' Music
    Friday, March 18, 7 p.m.
    (301) 662-8822

    Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania
    Pro Line Music
    Saturday, March 19, 6 p.m.
    (215) 736-8055
    Admission: $5.00

    Sterling, Virginia
    (part of "Acoustifest 2005")
    Melodee Music
    Sunday, March 20, 5 p.m.
    (703) 450-4667
    Admission: $5.00

    Roanoke, Virginia
    (Presented by Fret Mill Music Co.)
    Wyndham Roanoke Airport
    Monday, March 21, 7 p.m.
    (540) 982-6686
    Admission: Donation of canned goods

    Shillington, Pennsylvania
    Fred's Music Shop
    Wednesday, March 23, 6 p.m.
    (610) 777-3733

    Towson, Maryland
    Guitar Center
    Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.
    (410) 821-5200
  2. yes, bryon beller is a cool guy...i won his new cd off, and i really enjoyed it. Bryon is a really nice guy as well, as after i won, he emailed me, and we corresponded a few times...and i loved his BP articles as well!
  3. hodgy


    May 5, 2004
    Bothell, WA
    Tech Support- Ampeg/ Mackie
    Bellar kicks ass and is a totally cool guy. His album View is soooo damn tasty. I've caught him live quite a few times and the acoustic clinics are always jaw-dropping. For more BB, check out his work on Yogi's albums Any Raw Flesh and Salve (available over here: Yogi ).
  4. LizzyD

    LizzyD Chocoholic

    Oct 15, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Sadowsky Artist
    I saw them last year at a Taylor clinic too, which was rather amazing. I got to check out Bryan's Taylor, in fact he insisted I pick it up and play it a bit. I want one. But I don't know where or when I would ever use it to justify the expense, other than to plunk around on it at home.

    I believe there will be a Mike Keneally Band tour this year, but it will be just east coast dates. The latest Keneally album, Dog, is KILLER, get it if you don't have it.

    Bryan is one of my new favorite players, and I've had the pleasure of studying his work on the Yogi albums since I'm Yogi's current bassist. :D
  5. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Oh, as do I. Even one of the "lesser" models would be wonderful to own (in fact, I think an AB-2 would suit my style of playing even moreso). The really sad thing is that I could have used one in the past when I was freelancing in NY, having played with an "acoustic prog" band (think Rush meets Dave Matthews) where the "electric set" was the singer playing acoustic on about 1/2 the songs, a full-time acoustic player, the lead guitarist playing quasi-ascoustic modeled through a VG-8, and a very Latin-influenced drummer. We'd discussed trying to book more acoustic/coffeehouse shows using all-acoustic instruments and percussion, but it never panned out, I moved to Kentucky, and they broke up soon after.

    ...but what a "could have been" situation. The songs lent themselves nicely to a full acoustic treatment, and at the time I could have afforded an AB-2. Ehh, "one day" I keep telling myself. Sure they were expensive, but rare as well so they haven't inflated on the used market.

    I spoke to Scott "It's my Manor" Chatfield regarding this, and nothing is set in stone yet. They're still booking dates, as he quite willingly took some info for a club in Lexington that I street team for and would suit them well, and forwarded it to their booking agent.

    Pssht, I'd preordered Dog in December of 2003. Good lord, now that I think of it that was a long wait. Certainly worth it, however. :D

    Have you gotten his bass synth line for "...No More Evil" down yet? :help:

    Bryan, for lack of better words, is my bass mentor. He's helped me in various ways, from advice on SWR gear that would suit my needs (and helped find "my" tone I'd been searching for a decade for) to much like you, learning his lines and becoming a better technically bassist, as well as his skills as a writer rubbing off on me. Writer of "words", that is. ;)

    Tell Mr. Yogi Ian says "Hi" - I own him e-mail. :D
  6. LizzyD

    LizzyD Chocoholic

    Oct 15, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Sadowsky Artist
    It's funny you should ask...I had it down, a couple months ago. Then I stopped practicing it since we're really focused on new material now. Then last night we decided to run through that one...and my right hand gave out by the end of the tune! :crying: :D Gotta keep my chops up for that one if we ever want to do it live, it's a real finger-buster!

    According to Yogi, he never intended to have anything other than the synth play that part, but Beller had learned it and insisted on playing it for the album. He also recorded something equally busy on the choruses that got muted in the final mix, but you might be able to hear it on Yogi's upcoming Half Pint Demigod remix album which has a few tracks that really let Beller's bass tracks shine.