In September, Hiss Golden Messenger released a sweet new album, Terms of Surrender, on Merge Records. On Wednesday, October 9th, M.C. Taylor brought his band to the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon to explore his groove-infused ruminations.
If you can know a man by the company he keeps, it might be worth mentioning that a large contingent of highly regarded Portland songwriters and musicians were in attendance. There were Jackmormons, Mexican Gunfighters, Know-Nothings, Shook Twins, and reportedly a Drive-By Trucker in attendance, just to mention a few. It’s easy to see why they’d turn their attention to Taylor and Hiss Golden Messenger. Lyrics are accompanied by uplifting, soul-soothing grooves that comfort an audience while keeping them thoughtfully engaged. Meditations on life’s trajectories converge with musical wonder and possibility. Cerebrations and celebrations, if you will.
And, if actions speak louder than words, it’s also worth noting that Taylor is backing up his societal concerns with action. Before playing Terms of Surrender track “I Need a Teacher,” Taylor asked if there were any teachers in the audience, and then asked those who raised their hand what grades they taught and thanked them personally. He then let the crowd know that they were supporting teachers, as one dollar from each ticket sold on this tour would go to North Carolina’s Durham Public Schools Foundation.
Here are a few photos of the evening, which include opener Erin Rae, along with a setlist of the show.
Hiss Golden Messenger, Aladdin Theater, Portland, Oregon, 10.9.19
My Wing, I Need a Teacher, Jenny of the Roses, Mahogany Dread, Bright Direction (You’re a Dark Star Now), As the Crow Flies, Down at the Uptown, Lost Out in the Darkness
Red Rose Nantahala, I’m a Raven (Shake Children), Lucia, Cat’s Eye Blue, Like a Mirror Loves a Hammer, Happy Birthday, Baby, Day O Day (A Love So Free), Southern Grammar, John The Gun
Cracked Windshield, Heart Like a Levee