FAME Review: Bryan Beller - Wednesday Night Live
Bryan Beller - Wednesday Night Live

Wednesday Night Live

Bryan Beller

Onion Boy Records - OBR6913004

Available from Bryan Beller's web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

If you've already perused the review for Mike Keneally's Bakin' @ the Potato (here), then you're in for a little surprise: this is the same band but playing bassist Bryan Beller's music rather than Keneally's. So…is it the same music? Oh hell no! Yeah, but is it the same type of music? Most certainly, but far more accentuated to the jazz-rock fusion side of the house, specializing in long stretched out jams, six songs taking up the entire 45 minutes of the release proper with two bonus cuts tossed in from a couple other fest appearances, rounding the whole schmear out to a full hour. More, this gig was the opening act for the Keneally disc, same night, the whole caravan dubbed the "They're Both the Same Band!" tour. Pretty cool idea.

Major change, though: except for track 6, Keneally's manning the keyboards throughout, leaving Rick Musallam and Griff Peters to their devices: maniacal guitar shredding and distorto warping a la 70s psychedelia, Beller oft plugging into distortion units to fuse a synthy buzzsaw, roto-rooter wah, and other visceral colorations beneath and beside. The guy's sound is definitely muscular, untimid, fully alive in the mix of things, perhaps somewhat equatable to John Wetton's tenure with King Crimson with Percy Jones' percolating mindset thrown in. Love Terror Adrenaline / Break Through is the stand-out of the set, and all the fretbenders get into long involved progressions, Joe Travers, in a barnburning exercise, pounding the drums with riveting intensity behind 'em. This, friends, is a classic cut of progrock.

Unlike the Keneally release, Wednesday Night Live isn't a combo-pak, but you can also get a DVD of the band's performance, and it's packed in with tons of extra goodies. Haven't seen it myself, but, judging from this, how could you go wrong? Same band, same auteur, same intensity. With a plethora of ensembles marching along under the marquis of 'acid jazz', 'acid house', and probably 'acid acid', Bryan Beller and compeers drive us back to an era when the acid rock that started all the consumeristic fads reigned with unfettered abandon, taking listeners to realms inaccessible through James Taylor, 1910 Fruitgum Company, and Helen Reddy. In other words, this wasn't a concert to bring your mom to.

Track List:

  • Greasy Wheel
  • Life Story
  • Get Things Done
  • Thanks in Advance
  • Love Terror Adrenaline / Break Through
  • Seven Percent Grade
  • View (bonus cut)
  • Cave Dweller (bonus cut)
All songs written by Bryan Beller
except Thanks in Advance (Beller / Keneally / Peters / Travers).

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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