Bill MacKay's 'Locust Land' Showcases Eclectic Guitar Mastery

Bill MacKay releases new album "Locust Land" on Drag City label, featuring collaborations with Cooper Crain, Mikel Patrick Avery, and others. MacKay will perform at the Hideout in Chicago on May 23, 2024, to celebrate the album's release.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Bill MacKay's 'Locust Land' Showcases Eclectic Guitar Mastery

Bill MacKay's 'Locust Land' Showcases Eclectic Guitar Mastery

Chicago-based guitarist Bill MacKay has released a new album, "Locust Land", on the Drag City label. The album features collaborations with Cooper Crain, Mikel Patrick Avery, Janet Beveridge Bean, and others, showcasing MacKay's eclectic style and guitar skills as he blends heartfelt tunes with textural experimentation.

"Locust Land" opens with "Phantasmic Fairy", a wordless epic that sets the tone for the album's otherworldly vibe. "Keeping in Time" delves into stripped-down songwriting, with MacKay's vocals reminiscent of Kris Kristofferson or Lou Reed. "When I Was Here" features wry sibilances recalling Tom Verlaine and Dean Wareham.

Other standout tracks include "Glow Drift", which showcases bent surfy guitar and subtle polyrhythms evoking the style of Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó. "Oh Pearl" is a blissed-out early-morning guitar solo, while "Radiator" expands on its raga vibes. The title track features MacKay playing everything, with bright acoustic guitar and piano highlighting his elegant strengths.

Special guests on the album include percussionist Mikel Patrick Avery, Janet Beveridge Bean of Eleventh Dream Day, and Mute Duo pedal-steel guitarist Sam Wagster. Drag City has signed both MacKay and Cooper Crain, who recorded and mixed most of "Locust Land".

MacKay has previously released solo works and collaborations with experimental musicians such as Ryley Walker, Nathan Bowles, and Katinka Kleijn. His past solo LPs, "Esker" (2017) and "Fountain Fire" (2019), have showcased his six-string skill and heartfelt tunes.

To celebrate the release of "Locust Land", MacKay will perform at the Hideout in Chicago on May 23, 2024, with Desert Liminal and DJ Slinkie as openers. The album solidifies MacKay's reputation as a versatile guitarist, seamlessly blending genres and collaborating with a range of talented musicians.

Key Takeaways

  • Bill MacKay releases new album "Locust Land" on Drag City label.
  • Album features collaborations with Cooper Crain, Mikel Patrick Avery, and others.
  • MacKay's eclectic style blends heartfelt tunes with textural experimentation.
  • Album showcases MacKay's guitar skills and versatility in genre-blending.
  • MacKay to perform at the Hideout in Chicago on May 23, 2024, to celebrate album release.