In reverence and reference to the blues, its roots and multitudes of forms over the past century, through the jagged social struggles from before to tomorrow, Thollem forges his own cry with an old keyboard, stomp boxes and a microphone. Simple melodies twist and distort into a saturated power, to rest on a dime before turning face first into the darkest recesses of the mind. It’s music for now and a connection to each other and history, an electric diving board into reality and imagination. Always somewhere between being pursued and pursuing, the bitter sweet existence in the 21st century, the time of our lives.
Bill MacKay is a musician and a musician’s friend – a genial guitarist/composer/improviser. He has become a stealth fixture on the Chicago music scene over the last decade and has energized the experimental folk, rock and avant scenes around town with his polyglot approach to the guitar, combining the folk of Appalachia, the blues and gospel with rock, jazz, western-country and an array of eastern modes. In his band Darts & Arrows and has worked with everyone from Fred Lonberg-Holm and members of Bitchin’ Bajas to a blossoming creative partnership with with Ryley Walker — they released an album of guitar duets in 2015.