I adore Hiss Golden Messenger, the Durham, NC based band fronted by MC Taylor. It is the perfect summer music to me even when the messages of the songs are less than cheery. There always seem to be some hope at the bottom of his music though, which all wraps up into what I would say is the perfect folk music of today. They have a new album, Terms of Surrender, due out September 20 and dropped the first single, “I Need a Teacher” a couple of days ago. It’s apparently going to be a fairly political album though from what I read definitely with a hopeful bent in it. The first song focuses on the work of teachers and the video features teachers, parents, and students in North Carolina during a walk out to protest cuts to public education in that state. Hiss Golden Messenger is going to donate $1 from each concert ticket sold during their tour this fall will go to the Durham Public Schools Foundation. Unfortunately the closest their getting to me is Philadelphia in November. They are one of those bands, of which there are sadly many, that I adore but who never, ever come to Baltimore. They’re not on the official Newport Folk Festival bill this year, but they will be playing one of the after shows, which means that I know they’ll be hanging around the festival throughout the weekend. MC Taylor is always sitting in with other bands and seems to always be a part of the themed mystery sets. I know Phil Cook who is also part of Hiss Golden Messenger is curating one of those mystery sets this year, so I have no doubt they’ll all be in the house. I’m already looking forward to it.
Speaking of Phil Cook, I didn’t get a chance to write about this video when it came out, but you should also watch this super sweet video of Phil’s song “Another Mother’s Son” that he put out at Mother’s Day earlier this year featuring a bunch of mothers from Durham with their kids.