Sam Keenan the band has become a fluid concept; open to discriminating players and singers found gathering on stage. It may include some or all of Tim Lyles, Tony Guscetti, Sally Magraw, Craig Grossman, Kristof Marden, Pete Wannemacher, Jared Lukes, Jesse Lukes, Josiah Lukes (any other Lukes?), Rob Byers, Marc Sanchez, Justin Korhonen, Ben Foote, Sam Keenan and others. Their live shows are usually quite different from one another depending on what side of the proverbial hookah the material is being scraped.
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Sam Keenan has had a colorful and somewhat ill-fated underground musical existence. In the late 90’s his band Liquid Ernie never made a big splash, but they were influential to many artists and bands around them in the Minneapolis music scene. They released only one EP recorded with Matt Fink (Dr. Fink of Prince’s Revolution fame) called “Ghostwritten” and a collection of 17 demo tracks assembled and called “Spit and Polish”. When that band dissolved in 2001, Sam started performing solo and in various group incarnations made up of musicians from different corners of the Twin Cities scene.
Sam has been successfully completing songs for some time, recording and releasing many of them in a dreadfully unstructured manner over the last decade. He spends his time trying to blend the rich history of rock, hip-hop, folk and improvised music. Mostly, however, people say he just rips off Andy Partridge. Since he is an independent artist, he spends his days working for Minnesota Public Radio, and, as a recording engineer, he has worked with a long list of talented artists and groups, including Regina Spektor, Mercury Rev, Vinicius Cantuaria, Mike Doughty, M.I.A., Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Bob Mould, Ben Harper, Archer Prewitt, BR-549, Echo and the Bunnymen, Aqualung, Inara George, Michael Penn, A Whisper in the Noise, Citizen Cope, Cloud Cult, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and many more. Also, he is a co-founder of a non-profit net-radio station and local MN music supporting company called Misplaced Music, where he has served as the Program Director for the past two years.