William Ackerman – Positano Songs
Arriving March 4, 2022 is a new album, Positano Songs from William Ackerman, the guitarist, producer and founder of Windham Hill records. So much Ackerman-produced music exists to evoke a place, whether that be the Montana countryside or a trip to Philadelphia, grounding music in a place evokes both nostalgia and a timelessness that is hard to resist, and has been an important component in developing Ackerman’s and Windham Hill’s ardent fan base.
Will’s music is most closely associated with New England and northern California where he lived and founded his label. But it’s clear that Positano, Italy is a place as close to his heart as any. The album is filled with love songs to the people and places in the town where he has spent so much time, made lifelong friends and married his bride.
Early fans often think of Ackerman as a solo artist because of the distinctive voice of his albums, but since Passage each of his albums has featured important collaborations. But of course the impulse to work with others has been clear from the beginning as a producer and more recently as a member of FLOW (with Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster) and the Grammy-nominated Brothers (with Jeff Oster and Tom Eaton). Indeed, this is the first new album of original songs since 2011’s New England Roads. On Positano Songs, only the opening track Nighttime in the Chapel is a solo piece. Ackerman’s compositions are sensitively supported and in conversation with some of his closest collaborators over the decades: Charlie Bisharat, violin; Noah Wilding, voice; Jeff Oster, Flugelhorn; Eugene Friesen, cello; Tom Eaton, piano and bass.
The sample songs (which vary between Apple Music and Bandcamp) reveal a man who sounds relaxed and at peace while still contemplative. Fans of both his quietly tense work like “Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit” and gentler songs performed with FLOW will find every note feels like home, or at least home away from home, especially if that home is our own Positano.
March 4th, 2022 is the official release date and it will be available on all major streaming platforms.
A vinyl issue is scheduled for sometime in 2022, at a date yet to be announced.