Photo: Terri Loewenthal
M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger took time out to share some of his favourite music with us
A few days ago I drove from Durham to Asheville, North Carolina — a distance of about 450 miles round trip — to do a recording session for Daytrotter and play a show at Harvest Records. I left the house just as the sun was coming up and had the highway to myself for much of the way. These are some songs I listened to.
1. “Dimming of the Day/Dargai” by Richard & Linda Thompson from Pour Down Like Silver
I remember when this song really hit me for the first time. I was driving around the back streets of San Francisco’s Western Addition. It was a moment of clarity. It’s gotten better over the years.
2. “From a Silver Phial” by Gene Clark from No Other
I spent a lot of time with this record when we were in San Francisco. We all did. It was our blueprint, we thought the production was perfect.
3. “For a Little While” by Ernie Graham, from his self-titled record
A Belfast boy. This record is so true. I love his voice.
4. “You Are My Everlovin’” by Henry Flynt (1981)
Coincidentally driving through Greensboro, site of the Woolworth’s sit-in in 1960 and the Greensboro Massacre in 1979, and I’m listening to this. Flynt was born in Greensboro in 1940. It’s been an important piece of music for me.
5. “Hills of Home” by Hazel Dickens from It’s Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song
Hazel Dickens was one of America’s most important singers and she passed away last year. She is righteous. Nathan Salsburg turned me on to this one. Thanks, Nathan.
Can I have one more, making six? Because this one’s important and I wanted to mention it.
6. “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” by The Band from their eponymous album
Levon Helm just passed, the third and final voice of this extraordinary group of musicians to be silenced. I can say without hyperbole that without The Band’s first two releases, I would not make music the way I do. Levon’s drumming for the angel band now.
-M.C. Taylor Apr 22, 2012
Hiss Golden Messenger play Whelan’s, Dublin on Apr 30th and Triskel Christchurch, Cork May 3rd, both with Michael Chapman, and at the Kilkenny Roots Festival May 4th-7th