Press

QUOTES (See COMPLETE articles below)

‘Esker is MacKay’s first outing for Drag City ….Guitars, glass slide, percussion and piano produce a set of tunes that mesmerise like a movie score….Bill MacKay relentlessly makes vivid music to fire the senses.’
Gareth Thompson | Rock n Reel

“Aster,” the opener of Bill Mackay’s album, is all that this album is in 1 minute and 31 seconds. It is mystery, it is tradition, it is magic….the expression and voice which Mackay brings are unrivaled.’
Kwame Anderson | Free Press Houston

‘there is a warm and engaging hook in every [song],….a shadowy enigma within Esker that verges on the blissful…..’
Barnaby Smith | The Quietus

‘Esker is the newest solo effort from MacKay, a rich and easygoing reminder that the American guitar tradition is a vast and detailed one.’
Lars Gotrich | NPR (National Public Radio)

‘….this music comes directly from internal imagery and archetypes; it will never fully reveal itself to the listener. That’s just as it should be….Esker is a compelling glimpse of MacKay as a sound painter and spirit explorer’.
Thom Jurek | All Music

‘…. 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

‘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

‘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

 

2017

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – SpiderBeetleBee
Jon ‘Mojo’ Mills – Shindig! (interview/album review)

Bill MacKay/Ryley Walker – SpiderBeetleBee
Thom Jurek – AllMusic (album review)

Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker, “Stretching my Dollar in Plano”
Robert Ham – Paste (song/video preview)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – SpiderBeetleBee
Martin Leitch – GigSoup (album review)

Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – SpiderBeetleBee
Stephane Deslauriers – La Canal Auditif (album review)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Thom Jurek – AllMusic (album review)

Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker’s ‘I Heard Them Singing’
All Fresh Sounds (song preview)

Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay’s ‘I Heard Them Singing’
Sam Sodomsky – Pitchfork (song preview)

On Drag City debut, veteran Chicago guitarist Bill MacKay shows his full range
Peter Margasak – Chicago Reader (album review/show preview)

Reviewed: Some More of 2017’s Hidden Gems
John Mulvey – Uncut (album review)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Barnaby Smith – The Quietus (album review)

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

Bill MacKay talks vintage guitars, inspiration and his new album
Martin Leitch – Gigsoup (interview)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Martin Leitch – Gigsoup (album review)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Tyler Wilcox – Aquarium Drunkard (album review)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Jamie Atkins – Record Collector (album review)

Bill MacKay – Esker
Kwame Anderson – Free Press Houston (album review)

Bill MacKay – Esker
J. Moss – The Modern Folk Music of America (album review)

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)