Bill MacKay & Katinka Kleijn :: Stir

On the heels of the excellent Fountain Fire, Bill MacKay returns with his second LP of 2019, this time alongside “Chicago’s first lady of the cello,” Katinka Kleijn. Upon first listen, the duo’s debut may seem miles apart from the guitar soli MacKay is becoming increasingly well-known for, but STIR is no less searching and evocative—eight searing explorations of the intersecting edges of rock, classical, experimental, and improvisational music.

MacKay’s playing is varied and compelling throughout (dig the lithe Gabor Szabo moves on the breezy highlight “No One Here Is A Stranger”), while Klein’s expressive cello is the perfect emotional counterpoint. STIR is a formative and formidable debut from the well-tempered duo—“a song-cycle with wide improvisational spaces” that bridges the two’s disparate backgrounds and ushers them together into fertile new territory. words / k evans

Bill MacKay & Katinka Kleijn :: No One Here Is A Stranger