This second day of this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival has to have been one of the best days of music I’ve had all year. Though there were many high points, the main reason was getting the chance to see the Durham, NC recording artist MC Taylor, aka Hiss Golden Messenger, for the first time – and twice in the same day, at that. The first of those was Taylor’s stripped-down acoustic set at the Three Lobed Recordings/WXDU Day Show at King’s Barcade, and it held a singular beauty that was the equal of, but distinct from, the full-band set that HGM played later that night (that recording [HERE]). Taylor began the set with the a cappella “Father Sky”, and it’s a beautiful, brief religious allegory. The next songs were two of my absolute favorites – the band’s most approachable number, “Call Him Daylight” and the new “Red Rose Nantahala”, with its simple refrain of “Oh Lord, let me be happy”. Sung in Taylor’s voice, such a simple line can strike a deep emotional chord; he delivers the line with a canny mix of resignation, pleading, and hope.
Joined at points by Nathan Bowles, Scott Hirsch and Terry Lonergan, who would play in the full band that night, Taylor’s arrangements were much simpler during this day show. Compared to the full band set later that night, this show necessarily placed the emphasis on Taylor’s vocals and, thus, his actual words, and it was absolutely riveting to listen to. Taylor followed “Red Rose Nantahala” with “A Working Man Can’t Make It No Way”, “Bad Debt” from his Bad Debt debut LP, and ended with another stellar country-blues number, “O Little Light”, from his critically acclaimed current album, Poor Moon. He will eventually be putting out a follow-up to Poor Moon that should include “Red Rose Nantahala” as well as “Brother, Do You Know the Road”, which was played at the night set. Until then, settle in with this recording, and let Tyalor bend your ear.
I recorded this set with a soundboard feed provided by the King’s staff combined with Schoeps MK5 mics in the omnidirectional setting split wide onstage. The results are excellent. Enjoy!
Stream “Red Rose Nantahala”
Stream “Father Sky”
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Hiss Golden Messenger
Three Lobed/WXDU Hopscotch Festival Day Show
Raleigh, NC USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard + Schoeps MK5 (omni, onstage, 3ft split)>KC5>CMC6>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition CS 5.5 (mixdown)>Izotope Ozone 5 (tape effect exciter)>Audacity (set fades, tracking, amplify, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )
01 [intro - Cory Rayborn]
02 Father Sky
03 Call Him Daylight
04 Red Rose Nantahala
05 A Working Man Can’t Make It No Way
06 Bad Debt
07 O Little Light
MC Taylor (vocals, guitar)
Scott Hirsch (guitar)
Nathan Bowles (banjo)
Terry Lonergan (percussion)
If you enjoyed this recording, PLEASE SUPPORT Hiss Golden Messenger, like him on Facebook, and purchase Poor Moon on digital or vinyl from Paradise of Bachelors [HERE] and all of his releases on vinyl [HERE].