Sep 14, 2023 - News

Local Limelight: Hiss Golden Messenger's three-night stand at the Haw River Ballroom

Photo illustration of MC Taylor in a polaroid frame.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: David A. Smith/Getty Images

M.C. Taylor, the prolific Durham musician behind the folk-rock band Hiss Golden Messenger, can't wait to get back on the road.

  • Fresh off the heels of releasing Hiss' 12th album,"Jump for Joy" — an expansive collection of soulful country grooves and jam-band inflections — Taylor is ready to properly share it with his hometown before playing shows across the world this fall.

Hiss Golden Messenger will play three nights at the Haw River Ballroom from Sept. 15-17.

  • Taylor, who records all Hiss Golden Messenger concerts and sometimes releases them, said each show will have its own personality.

Axios spoke with Taylor for our recurring Local Limelight series. Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

ğŸŽ“ What brought him to the Triangle: I went to grad school at UNC-Chapel Hill. This was before I had found my footing with Hiss Golden Messenger – although it was a music project I had started in my last year in San Francisco.

  • I got a master's degree in folklore. And I worked as a folklorist for the state of North Carolina for a couple of years.
  • The more existential answer is that I was just looking for something new. I felt like I was spinning my wheels in California, and I needed a drastic change.

🌮 Favorite place to eat in Durham: I particularly love the taquerias on Roxboro Street in Durham. Specifically Guanajuato. Also Pizzeria Toro, Luna, Dashi, Mateo and Toast.

  • I think we must have more good food per capita here in Durham than any other town of its size in the country.

📚 Last great book he read: "Nina Simone's Gum" by Warren Ellis.

🤳 First read in the morning: Either the news or my email, both of which are usually a poor start to the day.

ğŸŽ¸ Local musicians he's listening to: I love Rosali. She recently signed to Durham's Merge Records. H.C. McEntire, I think she's underrated honestly. I love Little Brother.

  • I love Lou Hazel, I think he's an incredible songwriter. And I love the music Hiss bass player Alex Bingham makes as Magic Al.

ğŸŒŽ What he's looking forward to: I'm actually looking forward to getting out on the road and playing, which is not has not always been the way that I felt over the past.

  • But at this particular moment in time I'm super excited to get out into the world and play this new music, because I think it's really good.

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