Posts Tagged ‘MC Taylor’

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Blind Boys of Alabama + Hiss Golden Messenger “When the Wall Comes Down” Luck Reunion Presents in Association with Titos Handmade Vodka, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and Stolen Whiskey

Present: The Luck Mansion Sessions 2017 at the Texas Consulate. In Sept 2017 Luck Reunion took over the Texas Consulate mansion in East Nashville creating an analogue studio space with the goal of inspiring collaboration. Artists were invited to perform live and record 2 songs as part of a series called the “luck mansion sessions”. We provided a house mixologist named “Floyd’, unlimited tape, and a production team to support. this is what happened…

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MC Taylor, the brains and imagination behind Hiss Golden Messenger, has been slowly simmering his particular blend of folk and more mainstream musical styles just below the national radar for years. With this year’s Hallelujah Anyhow, he delivered a collection of songs that sheds light in dark places, encouraging the listener to be grateful for even the hard times. With his warm, comfy vocals, deeply insightful songcraft, and the deft contributions of the exquisitely talented brother team of Brad and Phil Cook — plus some backup from famous friends Tift Merritt and John Paul White — Hiss Golden Messenger unlocked a new level of artistic achievement.

Hiss Golden Messenger perform “Gulfport You’ve Been On My Mind” from their 2017 album, “Hallelujah Anyhow,” live in The Current studio.

The trippy new video for Hiss Golden Messenger “Like a Mirror Loves a Hammer” from the band’s critically acclaimed new album Heart Like A Levee .

Hiss Golden Messenger’s sixth collection deals with MC Taylor’s guilt of being away while he tries to provide for his family: it’s a remarkable record that feels like a breakthrough.

Here is a well-paced, uncluttered collection of arrangements that manage to make the hardest of times sound upbeat, featuring HGM’s trademark grooves on the likes of “Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer” and fusing modern tones with ancient ones – it is utterly exquisite.

Also, don’t miss the band’s recent Facebook live performances for The New York Times and Paste. Newly confirmed dates include performances in the Midwest and Southeast; see our tours page for a complete list of shows.

out now on Merge Records.

Photo credit: Andy Tennille

MC Taylor knows Sturgill’s pain all too well, and his latest Hiss Golden Messenger album tackles the tough decisions made by any touring musician: “What’s it going to take to keep you missing the rambling rake with a heart of obsidian?” he asks everyone he leaves behind to play his songs all over the world. The genius of this particular song is that he sings it as a rural gospel, a celebration rather than a commiseration. Some people don’t have anyone to miss.


General consensus has it that the hardships of life on the road is far from the most compelling of subject matters for an album. Singer Songwriter MC Taylor – the North Carolina-based songwriter, singer and guitarist operating with a rotating cast of collaborators under the Hiss Golden Messenger guise – delivers compelling evidence to the contrary on Heart Like A Levee, by some distance HGM’s finest record so far.

M.C. Taylor’s sixth album as Hiss Golden Messenger is arguably his best. While 2013’s Haw served as the band’s initial breakthrough and 2014’s Lateness of Dancers brought about late night revelry (featuring Sylvan Esso  Amelia Meath and Reggie Pace from No BS! Brass Band) on Letterman ,

Heart Like A Levee serves as a deeper incarnation of those predecessors. The album is steeped in the duality of leaving one of his greatest loves in life—his family—only to venture off into the world to embrace his other love—music—and exemplified in the gutting title track and “Cracked Windshield.” Yet, Heart Like A Levee reconciles with a singular musicality. Multi-instrumentalists and brothers Phil and Brad Cook have finally perfected the Hiss Golden Messenger sound by balancing the meandering guitar noodling and reverberating Wurlitzers worthy of a jam band breakdown with Taylor’s acoustic Americana foundation

Hiss Golden Messenger, AKA MC Taylor.


If you’re looking for the perfect soundtrack to the changing seasons and the darker nights coming in, look no further than Hiss Golden Messenger’s new album “Heart Like A Levee” , the band’s first new LP since 2014’s superb Lateness of Dancers. The album, out October 7th, features frontman M.C. Taylor waxing poetic about life, change, and the American landscape. His songs, created with help from members of Bon Iver and Megafaun, are filled with longing and drive. The title track, which we are premiering today, is all promise wrapped up in guitar strings—perfect for making lonesome autumn nights seem a little less lonely.

From the album Heart Like a Levee, out October 7th, 2016 on Merge Records.

“Lateness Of Dancers”, is the fifth studio album by Hiss Golden Messenger, was one of 2014’s finest records. The first record MC Taylor and his collective of collaborators has released for Merge Records, it delved into Southern states musical traditions, but injected  them with enough fresh impetus to make it more than just another Americana record.

Not wanting to hang around MC Taylor began writing the follow up at the start of 2015 in a hotel room in Washington. Looking out the window at powerful storm, he admits he’d never felt more disillusioned and divided by the twin interests in his life his music and his family. The tracks from that writing session would go onto make most of his upcoming record, Heart Like A Levee which will be out on Merge Records in October and was produced alongside Megafaun’s Bradley Cook. This week as well detailing the release, Hiss Golden Messenger have also shared a new track, Biloxi. The track has something of Gold-era Ryan Adams about it, all bright acoustic guitars, gentle fluttering beats and warm twanging slides; and it might just be the most accessible single he’s written to date. MC Taylor has suggested since those recordings he’s realised both his music and his family lives can’t exist without the other, which for music fans everywhere might just be the best realisation he could possibly have come to, there’s plenty more songs to come from this increasingly vital songwriter.

Heart Like A Levee is out October 5th via Merge Records.

Hiss-Golden Messenger  performed a couple of songs on the Bandwidth Sessions  “Blue Country” the indie-rock ensemble also performed “He Wrote the Book”   Hiss Golden Messenger has gotten more attention than MC Taylor and Hirsch’s old outfit, and I can only guess why. Is it because the singles sound meatier? Hooks stickier? Or is it the forces at work in the background — like Merge Records, the weighty indie that released the band’s phenomenal fifth LP,Lateness of Dancers, last year?

Whatever its cause, the notice seems deserved for a gifted band that works hard to do what it loves: As I write this, Hiss Golden Messenger is in Berlin, en route to Scandinavia, then back to the States to play a string of dates through the South and Midwest. And three weeks ago the group was here in D.C., on the edge of a snowstorm, hauling a mountain of gear into WAMU’s studio before it blew our hair back with two tremendous live performances.

For the quintet’s Bandwidth session, it played a jaunty take on “Blue Country Mystic” — one of Taylor’s best songs about fatherhood, originally released on the album Poor Moon — and “He Wrote the Book,”.  The band played both songs with more force than may be obvious in our videos — I’m told the drums bled through three studio doors and worked their way into a DJ’s live show (sorry!) — but the skill and heart that went into both songs is impossible to overlook.

Lateness of Dancers: Under the Hiss Golden Messenger banner, songwriter M.C. Taylor has committed to tape one of the most affecting and emotionally resonant catalogs of the 2010s. “Lateness of Dancers”, named for a Eudora Welty story, might be his most generous LP yet, tender, open, and deeply funky. There are strains of the Band, J.J. Cale, and Van Morrison in the grooves of songs like “Lucia,” “I’m a Raven (Shake Children)” and “Black Dog Wind,” but Taylor and company (fine company, it should be noted, including members of Megafaun, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man, guitarist William Tyler, and Scott Hirsch) do more than emulate; they synthesize funk, reggae, American blues and folk, creating a sumptuous vehicle for Taylor’s humanistic musings, his reflections on duty, on family, and digging deep for any salvation that can be scrounged up.


“Lateness Of Dancers” is due out on September 9th on Merge Records,  with a number of tour dates planned MC Taylor and Scott Hirsch in the hardcore band Ex Igonta, so with the current blend of American a far removed sound. After the lead single “Saturdays Song” comes this track “Mahoganys Dead” with gritty blues undertones, picks up electric guitars steady drums  and undulating bass guitar,