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The Folk Alchemy of Hiss Golden Messenger
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9/12/2018 at 6:31:11 PM GMT
Posts: 115
The Folk Alchemy of Hiss Golden Messenger

 By David A. Graham —

“Almost a decade ago, a failed musician sat down at his kitchen table in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and began singing some new songs into a portable cassette player. M. C. Taylor had spent his youth dabbling in bands, skateboarding, and drugs in Southern California, but had given up on music and moved east to study folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor had to sing softly—his baby son was asleep in the other room—and the audio quality was, in his words, ‘a joke.’

He called the collection Bad Debt, which, given the reeling economy, was timely. The songs were not, abounding with gospel signifiers, road narratives, and impressionistic blues, all accompanied simply on acoustic guitar. The prophetic images bore some resemblance to old, weird Americana, with the grim fatalism and religious fervor of British ballads refracted through Appalachia.


To continue reading, visit the full article on The Atlantic’s website.

Graham, David A. “The Folk Alchemy of Hiss Golden Messenger.” The Atlantic. (September 12, 2018). <>

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