Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – SpiderBeetleBee – Album Review by Killian Laher
Jazz guitarist Bill MacKay and avant-folkster Ryley Walker have just released their second collaboration. It’s a real treat for those less concerned with song structure and more interested in guitar ‘explorations’. The Grand Old Trout is certainly that, but what seems at first like aimless guitar noodling resolves itself into an enjoyable piece of music. Pretty Weeds Revisited will satisfy those looking for something more coherent, hints of cello fill out the sound, evoking Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter. Similarly, a little percussion added to the Jim O’Rourke-sounding I Heard Them Singing enables it to flow really nicely, creating a relaxed ‘vibe’, for want of a better word. The two guitarists combine really well on tracks like Stretching My Dollar In Plano and Lonesome Traveller in an unhurried, pastoral kind of way.
It doesn’t all work, Naturita is the longest track here, and is almost entirely composed of what sounds like maddening guitar exercises.
Not an essential release, but enjoyable if you enjoy either man’s guitar playing. Perfect to listen to some bright Sunday morning.
1. The Grand Old Trout
2. Pretty Weeds Revisited
3. Lower Chestnut
5. I Heard Them Singing
6. Stretching My Dollar In Plano
7. Lonesome Traveller
Lonesome Traveller –