WEDNESDAY NIGHT LIVE (2011)

 


A raw, powerful, intimate live document of the Bryan Beller Band 2010 touring lineup playing a 45-minute set at The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, plus two bonus tracks from other shows. Featuring: Rick Musallam (guitar), Griff Peters (guitar), Mike Keneally (keyboards & guitar), Bryan Beller (bass), Joe Travers (drums).


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Bassist/composer and sideman extraordinaire (Dethklok, Steve Vai, Mike Keneally) Bryan Beller’s first live album, Wednesday Night Live, is a raw, in-your-face, up-close-and-personal recording of Beller’s 2010 live band at the world famous Baked Potato in Los Angeles, and a serious statement from an artist who’s quickly establishing himself as one of the elite bass playing and compositional voices in the rock/jazz fusion scene today.

It started modestly, with Beller’s band opening for longtime compatriot Mike Keneally’s band using the same five musicians (including themselves) for five shows in the Northeast. The plan was for the Keneally/Beller “They’re Both The Same Band” tour to then hit the west coast, but scheduling got sticky. “We were able to confirm one date that worked for everyone: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, at The Baked Potato,” says Beller, who turns 40 this May. “And I said, screw it, let’s record it and see what happens. This is what happened.”

The album is Beller’s 6-song, 45-minute live set from the tour, plus bonus material consisting of a performance of View from the WesFest 2 benefit concert, and a rowdy, live-to-two-track rendition of “Cave Dweller” from the Thanks In Advance record release gig.

Beller already has two critically acclaimed studio releases under his belt: 2003’s View (“A solo album so good it makes you wonder why he bothered doing anything else.” – Bill Leigh, Bass Player ) and 2008’s Thanks in Advance (“A bonafide entry for bass album of the year.” – Chris Jisi, Bass Player). With a collection of intricately composed, multi-track layered tunes in his repertoire, and a true touring band for the first time in his career, Beller saw the issue of live vs. studio arrangements as a balancing act.

“I see myself as a rock/jazz fusion artist, with the rock part coming first. And I remember going to see Pink Floyd shows and wanting to see them honor the songs and individual parts I loved so much, while at the same time digging it when they stretched out in certain spots. That’s the balance I wanted the band to strike. So you’ll hear little parts and even some solos of mine that stay close to the record version, because I consider them a part of the song to some extent, and I want to honor that. But there’s also a lot of room to push the boundaries when we want to, and having such great players and friends in the band – guys I know and trust deeply, like Rick, Griff, Joe and Mike – just makes those moments extra special.”

Though there’s plenty of intensity in the funk/fusion workouts “Greasy Wheel” and “Seven Percent Grade” (to say nothing of the emotional low-to-high rollercoaster segue of “Life Story” and “Get Things Done”), Beller’s landmark ten-minute composition “Love Terror Adrenaline/Break Through” stands out as the set’s high point. “We’re talking about a studio cut with tons of tracks and layers and overdubs, and an impossibly complex melody played by Mike Keneally, and we condensed it into a five-piece arrangement that I’m quite proud of. The band played their asses off on that. They played their asses off all night. That’s why I wanted to put this out – because I think the way they played this material really deserves to be heard.”

released April 1, 2011 

The Bryan Beller Band:

Rick Musallam – guitar (left channel)
Griff Peters – guitar (right channel)
Mike Keneally – keys (lead guitar on “Love Terror Adrenaline” only)
Bryan Beller – bass
Joe Travers – drums

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Produced by Bryan Beller

Recorded by Tim Pinch on 9/15/10 at The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, CA
except “Cave Dweller” – recorded live to two-track by Dave Foster at the
Thanks in Advance CD release party on 1/22/09 at The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, CA
and “View” – recorded by Tim Pinch at the WesFest 2 benefit concert on 3/6/07
at The Gig in Los Angeles, CA

Mixed and edited by Mark Niemiec at Muggytone Studio, Nashville, TN
* except “Cave Dweller” – post-production by Dave Foster (CA) and Mark Niemiec (TN)
Mastered by Dan Shike at Tone And Volume Mastering, Nashville, TN

All songs written by Bryan Beller
© 2003 (tracks 3, 6, 7), © 2008 (tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 8) Panorama Ataraxia Music BMI
* except “Thanks In Advance” by Bryan Beller © 2008 Panorama Ataraxia Music BMI/Mike Keneally © 2008 Spen Music BMI/Griff Peters © 2008 Pointy Peak Music BMI/Joe Travers © 2008 Traversisms Music BMI.

CD booklet design and layout by Mike Mesker

Photography by Matt Urban/Mobius New Media, Frank Teger, and Michael Mesker

** Band line up for “View” only:

Griff Peters – lead guitar
Rick Musallam – rhythm guitar
Kira Small – Rhodes
Bryan Beller – piano
Pete Griffin – bass
Joe Travers – drums

(c) 2011 Onion Boy Records, All Rights Reserved

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2 days ago

Bryan Beller

BEHIND THE SCENES FROM THE FLOOD - “BUNKISTAN”: I made the album demos in sequence, and after the intensity of “The Flood” and finishing the first half of the album, I took a month-long break to freshen up my head. This was the first song back, and it flew out of me. I’m pretty sure the demo only took five days. And I remember after it was done, thinking for the first time, “I wonder if some of that isn’t good enough to keep?” Turns out I kept everything but the drums and percussion.

The guitars were all done fingerstyle, played as I would play a bass. The main and counter guitar melodies went down smoothly, and the keyboard layers quickly followed (god bless the Korg Kronos Rhodes and String Ensemble patches, they’re just gorgeous). I broke out the dark, vintage-y Mike Lull passive P/J 5 (alder body/rosewood fingerboard) and flew through the take, including the solo. And then for the guitar solo, I felt strangely liberated, and imagined myself as a cross between David Gilmour and “clean jazz guitar guy” capable of soloing in 9/4. I could hardly believe it was me when I played it back. You take these where you can get them. To top it off, I thought it would be cute to have drummer Ray Hearne (HAKEN) play against type and play a fairly simple trance-like groove throughout the whole thing.

But the real inside bit of “Bunkistan” isn’t really how I tracked it. It’s what it’s about. It’s a love song for touring musicians, specifically with a tour bus. What happens is that, after the show, everyone gets on the bus as it prepares to roll through the night. At some point, people retreat to their little bunk spaces for eventual sleep, and the smartphones come out. Some text their spouse, or their sweetheart, or maybe even their possible hookup in the next city.

Zoom in on one bunk, one particularly tender thread, and that’s the sound of this melody the first time around. Sweet somethings back and forth.

Zoom out again and imagine two people, in two different bunks, doing the same - that’s the second melody, with more accompaniment. The bass enters melodically, and the keyboards become lush. A third bunk starts their own thread as the second chorus begins.

The bus enters a long mountain tunnel - perhaps the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland - and the outside atmospheric noise changes. This is the breakdown and bass solo. The original thread is more exposed now, and yearning expressively, even earnestly. Missing someone.

The bus exits the tunnel, the guitar solo begins, and now everyone on the bus is texting. Sweet late night bits and bytes headed in different directions all over the globe. Hour after hour, text after text, kilometer after kilometer.

Eventually, dawn breaks, and one by one, the folks on the bus turn off their phones, and turn over to go to sleep. The music breaks down, bit by bit, and eventually stops. But the bus keeps rolling on, somewhere in Europe, into the early morning, and beyond.

“Bunkistan” is the album’s final nod to unqualified optimism. After this, it sets off on the long, inevitable march to its ultimate ending,
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2 days ago

Bryan Beller

Olomouc, Czech Republic. You are pretty and have great food and Pilsner Urquell. Thanks for being good! ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

Bryan Beller

BEFORE THE MAYHEM BEGINS: A candid shot from an Aristocrats soundcheck. The chicken is keeping watch.

Heading for a day off in Olomouc, CZ before our show there. Thanks so much again to everyone in Bochnia and Warsaw Poland for two more amazing shows.
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4 days ago

Bryan Beller

GOING DUTCH: When it comes to supporting the progressive instrumental community, nobody does it like the Dutch music press. There are *five* reviews of “Scenes From The Flood” that I haven’t shared yet and they are ALL from The Netherlands. The picture on this post is from the recent issue of Gitarist (NL), and I’ll share links to the other four articles below.

Progwereld (NL), unsigned - www.progwereld.org/recensie/bryan-beller-scenes-from-the-flood/
RockPortaal.nl (NL), Hans Ravensbergen - www.rockportaal.nl/bryan-beller-scenes-from-the-flood
DPRP.nl (NL), Mark Hughes - www.dprp.nl/reviews/2019-074
Background.nl - Pedro Bekkers - www.backgroundmagazine.nl/CDreviews/BryanBellerScenesFromTheFlood.html

The Netherlands has always had a special place in my heart ever since my early career days in Hilversum and Groningen working with Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, Co de Kloet and the Metropol Orchestra. With the kind of care and attention the Dutch music community gives to expanded releases like “Scenes From The Flood” and other progressive artists, hopefully you can see why. 🙂

BB WEBSTORE LINK FOR CD, VINYL, & HI-RES DIGITAL VERSIONS OF
"SCENES FROM THE FLOOD":
bryanbeller.com/index.php/shop/

Thanks so much to everyone in The Netherlands for their great support, and I look forward to seeing you on January 18 and 19 when The Aristocrats come to De Boerderij in Zoetermeer!
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5 days ago

Bryan Beller

Thank you Vienna (this pic) and Kosice, Slovakia for two great shows! On to Poland for the next two nights...

The Aristocrats Guthrie Govan (Official) Marco Minnemann
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Such an amazing album. Between The Buried And Me's "The Great Misdirect" is one of the hidden influences of "Scenes From The Flood". It was subliminal even to me until I saw this and thought about the whole album again. It's just great. If you haven't checked it out, do so!

Tommy Rogers@tommybtbam

The Great Misdirect is 10 years old today! 🎉
Btw, @paulbtbam this guitar part still kicks my ass.
#btbam @btbamofficial @prsguitars

BEHIND THE SCENES FROM THE FLOOD: "BUNKISTAN" - a love song for musicians. Read the backstory here (top post): https://t.co/uinoIWbMhz

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