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Live From The Current Studio

Hiss Golden Messenger play songs, pass along a message of love

MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger performing in The Current studio
MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger performing in The Current studioNate Ryan | MPR
  Play Now [27:51]

by Mac Wilson

October 27, 2017

Hiss Golden Messenger - Gulfport You've Been On My Mind (Live on The Current)
by MPR
Hiss Golden Messenger - Tell Her I'm Just Dancing (Live on The Current)
by MPR
Hiss Golden Messenger - Domino (Time Will Tell) (Live on The Current)
by MPR

With a little extra time in the Twin Cities, MC Taylor and other members of Hiss Golden Messenger took time to see Bob Dylan perform at the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday. "I was floored," says Hiss Golden Messenger co-founder and frontman MC Taylor. "I thought it was the most beautiful thing. I went in knowing that I was probably not going to hear his words set to melodies that I knew. So I wasn't disappointed — although there's always going to be a part of me that wanted to hear some of those songs — but I knew that's not where he's at." (more from MC Taylor about Bob Dylan)

Where Hiss Golden Messenger are at is busy touring in support of Hallelujah Anyhow, their second album in as many years. Before their show at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Hiss Golden Messenger stopped at The Current to play songs from their latest album as well as a track from 2016's Heart Like a Levee, and to chat with host Mac Wilson.

To fill out the Hiss Golden Messenger lineup, Taylor reaches out to a group of musicians he calls his pals, and joining him in studio are: Phil Cook, piano; Skylar Gudasz, vocals; Michael Libramento, bass; Darren Jessee, drums; Ryan Gustafson, guitar; and Mike Lewis, saxophone.

When Mac Wilson asked if Hallelujah Anyhow is Hiss Golden Messenger's reaction to the state of the world, Taylor says it's a bit more introspective. "I think the spirit in the songs on Hallelujah Anyhow were me and all of my friends that played on this record trying to sort of catch the reflection or the reverberation within our small community of people," he says. "I wasn't trying to write big for this record; I was trying to write small. I was trying to write to small moments.

"I've felt like one way of maintaining positivity and hope lately for me has been to focus on really small moments," Taylor continues. "Definitely trying to be present and remember that we're living a moment right now. It feels like a lifetime for us, but this is a moment, and history is long. That, I think, has been serving me well. As good as it can. It's pretty easy to feel disheartened, but that's not really a way forward.

"We talk a lot about loving each other at our shows, and being positive and productive and being kind. Those are words that we're trying to live by, too. That is not a soft approach. You know what I mean? That is an active approach. Love is a tool. It's not a way of shrinking away."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete in-studio session with Hiss Golden Messenger, including more of Taylor's thoughts about Bob Dylan, and his recollections of road-testing songs while touring in support of their friends, Drive-By Truckers.


Songs Performed

"Gulfport, You've Been on My Mind"
"Tell Her I'm Just Dancing"
"Domino (Time Will Tell)"
The first and third songs are from Hiss Golden Messenger's 2017 album, Hallelujah Anyhow; the second song is from Hiss Golden Messenger's 2015 album, Heart Like a Levee; both are available on Merge Records.

Hosted by Mac Wilson
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Riley Bruestle
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor


Hiss Golden Messenger - official site