It was an evening with Hiss Golden Messenger on Wednesday night as Durham, NC singer-songwriter M.C. Taylor brought his four-piece band to Philadelphia to headline Union Transfer. The band’s most recent album, Hallalujah Anyhow, is just over a year old, and their set mixed up songs from it, as well as their recent Heart Like a Levee from 2016 and a mix of their back-catalog, including cuts from 2012’s Poor Moon and 2014’s Lateness of Dancers. Continue reading →
It’s another chill week, but we’re fortunate in Philly when a chill week still means we’ve got a diverse spread of concert options large and small. The DIY scene goes acoustic in the First Unitarian Church side chapel, a Philly legend cuts it up on the 1’s and 2’s, a cult favorite of reggae at Kung Fu Necktie, and a reunion by a force of nature in 90s rap: here are ten concerts to see all around Philadelphia in the next seven days. Continue reading →
If you didn’t get enough of southern roots band Hiss Golden Messenger at XPNFest, you’re in luck: the band made an appearance on NPR’s show Mountain Stage, taped live at West Virginia’s Civic Center Little Theater. Lead vocalist M.C. Taylor is joined by guitarists Phil Cook and Josh Kaufman, bassist Michael Libramento and drummer J.T. Bates. The band pulled from every era of its expansive repertoire including their latest album Hallelujah Anyhow, and a brand new, never-heard-before song called “Happy Birthday,” which Taylor dedicated to his five-year-old daughter. Continue reading →
Nursing a fresh sunburn and dodging the inflated beach ball being tossed around the crowd, I wove my way toward the Marina Stage. MC Taylor and the accompanying four-piece band of Hiss Golden Messenger dared the audience to match the energy of last night’s set in Newport, where the band was joined by singer Mavis Staples. “I could’ve died after that particular performance…It’s the third day of this festival, nothing matters anymore. This time tomorrow I’ll be in a hammock with my kids,” Taylor said.
What the blues-rock band lacked in dance moves (especially considering that they directly followed that wild Tank and the Bangas set), they made up for in power, giving a vivacious performance that left them toweling the sweat from their faces. Continue reading →
The ever-changing personnel and spectrum of recordings from Hiss Golden Messenger is anchored by the uber-talented compositional abilities of band leader M.C. Taylor. The Durham, North Carolina resident, whose instantly recognizable voice straddles Bob Dylan and Jim James, maintained his high level of songwriting and acoustic indie rock on Hiss Golden Messenger’s 2017 project Hallelujah Anyhow. Taylor writes of religious questioning, homesickness, and unexpected love on the new album with a bluesy conviction driving the project along. World Cafe Live hosts Taylor and Hiss Golden Messenger tonight, and the set is sure to impress. Pick up tickets quick from the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
XPN favorite Hiss Golden Messenger made a recent television appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers to perform “Domino (Time Will Tell),” from their new album Hallelujah Anyhow. The North Carolina band appears in rare 10-piece form for this rendition, packing the late night stage with their magnetic presence. Hiss Golden Messenger is fronted by vocalist and songwriter M.C. Taylor, who says that the new album is intended to combat the darkness in the world with messages of hope and positivity. Watch the video below. Continue reading →
Last month, vibey Americana outfit Hiss Golden Messenger shared the track “Standing in the Doorway,” a leftover from the Heart Like a Levee sessions, and now they’re one-upping that gift by announcing a fall tour and new album titled, Hallelujah Anyhow — which will be out on September 22nd via Merge Records. Continue reading →
Tonight Union Transfer will host North Carolina-based band Hiss Golden Messenger. The group touches on genres spanning from country, blues and rock. The show tonight is one of many stops on their Heart Like A Levee tour promoting their newest album released on October 7th via Merge Records. Check out the video for “Tell Her I’m Just Dancing” below, and click here for more information on this all ages show. Continue reading →
In just a few short hours, Whitney will play a sold-out show at Philly’s First Unitarian Church. It’s sure to be a life-changing, self-actualizing event, but not for me, because I didn’t get tickets in time. This would normally be cause for heartbreak, but this afternoon, I got a taste of what I would be missing when the septet took to the World Cafe Live stage for an all-too-brief, half hour set.
Whitney has been touring steadily since the release of their excellent debut, Light Upon the Lake, and it shows. Thanks to songwriting duo Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich, they have Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s sense of groove and Smith Western’s ear for arrangement, but they’ve translated it into a sound that’s all their own. The band may have only had time for six songs, but that constraint assured that they were all highlights. From the infectious, breezy “No Matter Where We Go” to the singalong catharsis of “Golden Days”, they sounded lively and polished, even if they had admittedly “partied too hard” the night before. Continue reading →