‘It’s been an interesting period’: Joe Satriani begins U.S. tour tonight with energized Mike Keneally

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As Joe Satriani kicks off his new U.S. tour in San Diego tonight, sideman Mike Keneally enthuses about the fun they’ve already had on the road in support of Unstoppable Momentum. “It really worked out, I would say even beyond either of our expectations,” Keneally tells us in an exclusive SER Sitdown.

Keneally, who just released his own project You Must Be This Tall, will be on the road throughout North America with Satriani for the next two months. Satriani’s touring band also includes Marco Minnemann, who appears on Keneally’s new solo album; and Bryan Beller, with whom Keneally worked as part of Beer for Dolphins.

Within that familiar collaborative atmosphere, Keneally says his role has been expanded in advance of the next leg of shows.

“It’s been an interesting period, because I’ve just been playing keyboards with him — up until recently,” he says. “We sort of developed our musical relationship that way, and I think Joe was really comfortable with that, and I was definitely cool with that. Then Joe invited me to play guitar, at first on just a few songs. Now, it’s about half the show and it’s been super, super fun. He’s completely open to whatever I play. In fact, it’s really on me to be as adventurous as I want to be within the structure of his music. He never holds me back. I’m actually looking forward to things stretching out more on this upcoming tour.”

After wrapping up the Satriani dates, Keneally will return to work on a massive reissue project focused on Sluggo, a beloved 1998 collaboration with Beer for Dolphins.

“The plan is to come out with a three-disc project,” Keneally tells us, “which would ultimately include both the original and new stereo mixes of Sluggo, and a new surround mix. It will be the first time we’ve done an entire studio album in surround. I honestly think it’s the best sounding thing we’ve ever produced. Then there’s some concert footage from a show that we did during that era, and some unreleased track from the sessions. We’re going to try to be as exhaustive as the capacity of the discs allows us to be.”

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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