Beer for Dolphins

Half Alive in Hollywood

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

This is a dense, 2-CD set. Let's look at disc one. Here, BFD offers itself on the operating table to student engineers at the Musicians' Institute in Hollywood, CA. Keneally's detailed notes are everything the studio engineer and Keneally-buff need. If you just want to appreciate Mike's rabid feats of guitar science in arrangement and improvisation, don't pay attention to the notes. You will not hear half the things he's talking about, anyway. Plenty of false starts and studio talk. In my book, Keneally is up there with Steve Vai and Johnny "Guitar" Watson in terms of knowing his instrument. To hear him and his group Beer for Dolphins unadorned is a stunning guitar rock experience. You can't just put any trio in an unfamiliar setting and get material like this. Complex, fascinating - musical alchemists in the conjuring process. The second disc is recorded live at the Institute. It's recorded mono. These days, and for this sort of guitar wizardry, completely novel. It sounds fine, though. Like in the opening set for Steve Vai I saw, Keneally trumps out covers of "Power to Love" (Hendrix) and "Immigrant Song" (Led Zeppelin). The trio is 80% tight, and it's a fine exhibition of multi-note guitar mania. The CD closes with a Boil That Dusk Speck era studio version of "Vent."

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:23
2 00:23
3 02:34
4 06:11
5 05:28
6 05:59
7 02:17
8 08:09
9 00:30
10 02:51
11 02:28
12 01:20
13 03:39
14 04:01
15 01:39
16 02:10
17 03:07
18 02:33
19 01:26
20 01:02
21 01:54
22 05:27
blue highlight denotes track pick