Press

QUOTES (See COMPLETE articles below)

‘…. a lovely new track called “Aster”…The song itself almost entirely comprises a melodic dance between swooning slide guitar and twinkling piano cascades, generating more beauty in about 90 seconds than most songs manage in twice that time. It’s a gorgeous introduction to the album….’
Chris Deville | Stereogum [on MacKay’s debut on Drag City]

‘…. irreducible complexity and splendour. This is a record of singular power and beauty.’
Oliver Arditi [on Darts & Arrows’ Altamira]

Land of Plenty showcases two musicians at the top of their game…tasteful, fluid and inspired.’
Duncan Fletcher | Shindig

‘…this guitar masterclass from MOJO rising star Walker and Pittsburgh songwriter MacKay meanders through fuzzy coptic blues, waltzes and spellbinding psych haze.’
Andrew Male | MOJO

‘Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker were clearly meant to play together.’
Aaron Neddy Stein | JamBase

‘…this song (and record) are a vibrant black and white in a musical world that seems like it only recognizes flashing lights and shiny objects.’
Josh Keller | Reviler

‘There’s a restless spirit which suffuses Altamira…. Guitarist Bill MacKay creates strikingly textured auditory narratives…those who slant toward rock with improvisational inclinations— that unique area where jazz and modern rock come together to craft a genre-less amalgam—will find much to enjoy.’
Doug Simpson | Audiophile Audition

‘Through it all, Darts & Arrows is an enchanting group that casts a magnetic spell…MacKay’s compositions proffer appealing hooks and passages that translucently bridge various musical genres…’
Glenn Astarita | All About Jazz

‘On Altamira Darts & Arrows have a unique sound, it’s something like Frank Zappa playing with Fairport Convention. It is prog with a post punk edge…it always sounds fresh and original.’
Reuben Klein | The Ear

‘Land of Plenty is a phenomenal collaboration between the two Chicago-based guitarists Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker….’
Marcus Fruit | Dying for Bad Music

‘…the pair trade lines like old friends deep in conversation… A perfect jazz-folk chaser to Walker’s more singer-songwriter styled Primrose Green LP from earlier this year.’
Tyler Wilcox | Aquarium Drunkard

‘Harmonized notes practically gleam. Highly recommended. This kind of music is by its nature usually performed solo, it is exciting to hear two players with such sensibilities collaborate.’
J Moss | The Modern Folk Music of America

‘MacKay and Walker have created a seamless instrumental masterpiece…’
Sarah Brooks | Gaper’s Block

‘Land of Plenty – a fantastic new recording culled from the duo’s series…. potent traces of Indian classical ragas, American primitive fingerpicking, old-timey mountain music, and traditional British folk course through the pair’s tightly integrated playing, bits of improvisation showing their almost preternatural interaction and subtle give-and-take….’
Peter Margasak | Chicago Reader

‘Bill MacKay experiments with folk and rock mediums as much as jazz, and the ability to cross-pollinate between those genres shines through pretty strong on the strangely alluring Chatham Park….At times, it’s positively magnetic’.
Dave Sumner | Bird is the Worm

‘….an appealing sense of space and proportion…abundantly inventive music….’
Peter Margasak | Chicago Reader

 ‘Bill MacKay’s eloquent guitar touch is effectively expressive in not only precise articulation, but also emotional awareness, seldom wavering with profound and poetic musical statements, always gracefully tuned to the sounds around.’
Scottie McNiece | Chicagomusic.org 

 ‘MacKay is a critical fixture in Chicago’s folk/experimental community committing tirelessly to expressing a meditative spontaneity through his compositions and impulses….one of our city’s strongest improvisers….MacKay’s recent successes include a number of strikingly lucid compositions on Darts & Arrows’ latest, Eyes of the Carnival, and a serendipitous stringed collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach….’
Joe Darling | Uncanned Music

2017

Bill MacKay’s Solo Guitar Fades Quickly, Beautifully on “Twilight”
Lars Gotrich – National Public Radio (NPR) All Songs Considered (song/album preview)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Laurent Berger – Rock, the Best Music (album review)

Bill MacKay – “Aster”
Chris DeVille – Stereogum (song/video/album preview)

2016

Darts & Arrows – Altamira
Tyler Wilcox – Doom and Gloom from the Tomb (album review)

Flux Bikes/Sueñolas | Flux Bikes/Sueñolas 
Peter Margasak – Chicago Reader (album review/show preview)

Darts & Arrows – Altamira
Oliver Arditi (album review)

Flux Bikes/Sueñolas | Flux Bikes/Sueñolas                                                                     
Bort – Tiny Mix Tapes (album review)

2015

Stuff You Might Have Missed
Mike Shanley – Shanley On Music (Altamira)

Top 10 End-of-Year-List (Eindejaarslijstje Quinten Lengeler)
Quinten Lengeler – Gonzo Circus  (Land of Plenty)

The Best Discs of 2015 (Los Mejores Discos de 2015)
Laurent Berger – Rock: The Best Music (Land of Plenty)

Darts & Arrows – Altamira
Laurent Berger – Rock: The Best Music (album review)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Land of Plenty
Oriol S. – Dancing with the Clown (album review)

The Best of 2015:  A Playlist
John Mulvey – Uncut (Land of Plenty)

Land of Plenty in MOJO December 2015

Andrew Male in MOJO

Bill MacKay’s Darts & Arrows – Altamira
Paul Acquaro – Free Jazz Blog (album review)

The Best Albums of 2015 
John Mulvey – Uncut (Land of Plenty and Altamira)

Best of the Rest (30+ songs from a faded summer 2015)
Josh Keller – Reviler (Land of Plenty)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Land of Plenty
Aaron Neddy Stein – JamBase (album review)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Land of Plenty
John Mulvey – Uncut (album review)

Land of Plenty - Review - Shindig Magazine - by Duncan Fletcher - October 2015

Duncan Fletcher in Shindig!

Darts and Arrows – Altamira
Doug Simpson – Audiophile Audition (album review)

Darts & Arrows – Altamira
Glenn Astarita – All About Jazz (album review)

EarMagazine-Altamira(thumb)

Jason Kennedy in Hi-Fi | The Ear

Darts & Arrows – Altamira
Reuben Klein – The Ear (album review)

Bill MacKay releases Evergreen from album Altamira
Phil Freeman – Burning Ambulance (song/video review)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Land of Plenty
Marcus Fruit – Dying For Bad Music (album review)

Dynamic Duos :: James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg / Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker
Tyler Wilcox – Aquarium Drunkard (Land of Plenty album review)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Land of Plenty
J Moss – The Modern Folk Music Of America (album review)

A Conversation with Ryley Walker & Bill MacKay
Jordan Reyes – Delayed Gratification (interview)

Mezmerizing Melodies on Land of Plenty
Sarah Brooks – Gapers Block (Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker: Land of Plenty album review)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker
Peter Margasak – Chicago Reader (Land of Plenty album/show preview)

Ryley Walker & Bill MacKay join forces for the advancement of instrumental guitar music
Marty Slattery – Tiny Mix Tapes (Land of Plenty album preview)

Bill MacKay & Matt Lux | December Concert
Paul Acquaro – Free Jazz Blog.Org (album review)

Bill MacKay | Chatham Park
Dave Sumner – Bird is the Worm (album review)

2014

MacKay & Lux | December Concert
Gregory Applegate – Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog (album review)

MacKay. Lux. Boye.
Joe Darling – Uncanned Music | Over/Out Series (concert preview)

MacKay. Kleijn. Johnson. Rumback. | Hungry Brain
Stone Hansard – Chicagomusic.org | Best Concerts Pick (concert review)

2013

Son of Fire String Ensemble
Joe Darling – Uncanned Music | Over/Out Series (concert preview)

Bill MacKay and Matt Lux
Experimental Sound Studios | Oscillations Series (concert preview)

Darts & Arrows | Eyes of the Carnival
Gregory Applegate – Gapplegate Guitar & Bass Blog (album review)

Dmitry Samarov’s The Blue Light and Other Things that Happened
J.R. Nelson & Leor Galil – Chicago Reader/Gossip Wolf (album preview)

Bill MacKay and LeRoy Bach
Scottie McNiece – chicagomusic.org (Concert series review)

2012

Top Albums of 2012
Joe Grez – Joup (album review)

Chicago Music: A Word with songwriter/guitarist Bill MacKay: Joup Interviews
Joe Grez – Joup (interview)

Darts & Arrows | Eyes of the Carnival                
David Bernabo – Host Skull (album review)

Darts & Arrows | Bar DeVille
Scotty McNiece – Uncanned Music (concert preview)

Darts & Arrows | Eyes of the Carnival
Peter Margasak – Downbeat (album review)

Darts & Arrows | Preview of Concert Airing on WNUR 89.3 FM
Kimberly Seibel – Killin’ the Vibe (radio broadcast preview)

Marc Piane’s Walk East | Walk East
Paul Abella – Chicago Jazz Magazine (album review)

2010

Guitarist Bill MacKay Finds His Sweet Spot
Peter Margasak – Chicago Reader (album/concert preview)

Darts & Arrows | Bill MacKay and Darts & Arrows 
David Bernabo – Host Skull (album review)

A New Leaf: MacKay explores with the Requinto
Ashley Mouldon – New City (concert preview)

2007

Broken Things | Swim to the River
Mark F. Turner – All About Jazz (album review)

2005

Bill MacKay & Sounds of Now
Mark F. Turner – All About Jazz (album review)