Hiss Golden Messenger performed a stirring set at Webster Hall on Thursday, December 2nd. Despite thanking the crowd for bearing with him and his band while they shook the cobwebs off, Mike “MC” Taylor, and his group performed a tight and rousing set of songs from his recent albums and fan favorites including “Biloxi,” “Bright Direction (You’re a Dark Star Now),” and “Caledonia, My Love.”
Taylor writes songs about intimacy, dependence, and love, but also critiques of capitalism and self effacing self portraits. Though ostensibly a folk project (Taylor performed on an acoustic guitar for a good part of the show), his music is far more expansive, incorporating blues, funk, soul, alternative country and even R&B, delivered in his distinctive warm and expressive baritone.
Taylor and his band have a habit of teasing out his songs live, extending choruses and allowing each band member to take a solo (a blessing for me as a photographer, considering we only get to shoot the first three songs of a set). Never does this feel meandering or rambly though, and as a fellow photographer put it that night, “he’s the brains, and he found a band that just gets it.” I did feel that at the show. As beautifully rendered as the songs are on the record, they came to life on stage and it was a true joy to experience.
Scroll down for more pics of the show (photos by Emilio Herce)
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER