is a true testament to the musicianship that resides in the Triangle. Both in a live setting and on the record, Hiss Golden Messenger is a roll call of many of the great musicians who come together under Durham songwriter M.C. Taylor and Brooklyn recordist Scott Hirsch to make something incredible. The albums are a careful work of genius that brings together a wide-range of genres that together scream “North Carolina.” Their most recent effort Haw brings together some of the best of the best to create their fullest, most beautiful album yet. Seeing Hiss Golden Messenger at their show at Haw River Ballroom was such an incredible treat. The Triangle came together for a night of music led by some of the giants of the local scene who brought to life this music that is so wholly North Carolina.
Taylor and Hirsch have released 4 albums as Hiss Golden Messenger including last year’s Haw. Named for the river that strikes right through the heart of North Carolina, the album is their most adventurous to date as the duo expanded and enlisted the help of some old friends. The band consisted of Megafaun’s Phil Cook, The Black Twig Picker’s Nathan Bowles, and William Tyler. Each of these men is a great musician in their own right and came together to round out Taylor’s incredible vision perfectly. Like their previous albums, Haw brought together wide array of different genres including folk, blues, country, and soul. While Hiss Golden Messenger is a champion of an older country era, the music is universal and draws people that have never before been a fan of these genres. As such, Haw was incredibly well received by people of all genres as it made the rounds on both local and national end of year lists.
On January 14th, their second album Bad Debt is being reissued after coming to an untimely end. All copies of the original CD edition were destroyed in a warehouse fire during the London riots in 2011. Bad Debt was written during the time of the collapse of the global economy. Now after its symbolic demise, these songs will see the light of day 5 years later. While we may not know what the future of the global economy may hold, these songs still hold weight as we look towards the not entirely cheery future. But the future may be a bit brighter with Hiss Golden Messenger reminding us we aren’t alone in our struggles.
Tune in to hear our interview with Hiss Golden Messenger during Carolina Grown on January 17th as we discuss what lies ahead for them.
Check out a review and listen to a track off of Bad Debt on Pitchfork.