Photo Credit: Luke Awtry
Bill MacKay is a Chicago-based composer, improvisor, guitarist, singer and writer. He has created an extensive body of original work, while energizing the folk, avant-garde, and experimental diaspora.
MacKay’s blissful harmonic control and outside-the-box guitar mastery are one with his compelling songwriting, and his creative voyage and imaginative influences are fully displayed across his discography.
His recent recordings include: Keys (2021) with Nathan Bowles, Scarf (2020), STIR (2019) with Katinka Kleijn, Fountain Fire (2019), and Esker (2017), and were released by Drag City.
MacKay is also a poet, visual artist and polyglot, and is a member of both the avant-garde rock outfit Black Duck (with Doug McCombs) and the experimental groove-drone project BCMC (with Cooper Crain).
Joy Ride is a song written by Bill MacKay. It appears on the record "Keys," released on LP/CD/Streaming on April 9, 2021 from Drag City.
The record is credited to Bill MacKay and Nathan Bowles, and as of today 3/20/22 has 154, 000 streams on Spotify.
It runs 5:09 minutes, and the film is by Timothy Breen.
Aster is a song from Bill MacKay's "Esker" LP/CD, released May 5, 2017 on Drag City Inc.
The video was directed and produced by Marc Riordan, from footage shot in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Ashland, Oregon.
MacKay composed it and played all of the instruments on the song.
Running time is 1:30 minutes.
Birds of May is a song from Bill MacKay's Fountain Fire record which was released March 22, 2019 on Drag City.
This song features Bill's voice and guitar.
Running time is 3:11 minutes.
The three pieces I have entered here do a good job of reflecting my overall body of work since they go from folk-focused vocal work with guitar (Birds of May), instrumental cinematic film-type music (Aster), and an uplifting exuberant kind of American-born roots music (Joy Ride). There are certainly other forms I work in, but these offer a good view into the sounds and sensibilities of some of my main musical avenues.
I have been a performer, composer, songwriter and recording artist for the past 15-20 years and have led bands, directed ensembles and especially made a strong mark in music in the last five years with my records on Chicago's Drag City label.
My artistic vision centers on the idea of music and art that liberates, heals and generates positive energy - and which draws together varied and diverse people with a sense of unity and unified purposes.
Programs for Specific Audience(s) Expertise
My performances are always aimed at the widest group of listeners possible. That said, I have performed at Senior living centers, for Spanish-speaking audiences, for Children, and so on. I am very flexible as to my approaches, so I can be directed to a range of possible performance situations.
$250 - $2000 depending on all relevant parameters
- Spanish, French, Portuguese