Bill MacKay and Ryley Walker's inspired collaboration continues with a 2nd volume of freshly baked tunes: they call it, SpiderBeetleBee!
It's been nearly two years since their much-admired 2015 debut, Land of Plenty (Whistler Records), and SpiderBeetleBee more than makes up for the long wait with a rich, resonant batch of performances that elevate the guitar duo's sound into an ever-widening panorama of styles. Their first album was developed over a month-long live residency at Chicago's Whistler, reflecting MacKay and Walker's joy in their newly found playing relationship. As kindred spirits, they found in their playing the ability to wordlessly finish a phrase or suggest a direction while speaking solely through their guitars. SpiderBeetleBee continues fluidly through and beyond a similar path of psych-folk-blues-raga, brewing further explorations in mixed-and-matched idioms, turning composed melodies inside-out via improvisation, and finding in the blend a shared Walker / MacKay pasture, serendipitously located somewhere between Appalachia and the Highlands. SpiderBeetleBee radiates forth with equal parts austerity and whimsy, as evidenced in the lead single I Heard Them Singing. Generating a nimble tempo with the aid of MacKay's requinto (a kind of 5-string Mexican guitar), Walker's rolling chords and the percolating tabla of Ryan Jewell, I Heard Them Singing suggests an unknown short-cut from Brazil to India! Adorned with Bill MacKay's colorful and willfully primitive cover-art, SpiderBeetleBee wanders through styles, landmasses and hemispheres, capturing the further adventures of MacKay and Walker with spellbinding snapshots that only bloom larger the longer you take them in.