Haw River Ballroom Presents
Hiss Golden Messenger, Phil Cook and the Guitarheels, The A's
1711 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road
Saxapahaw, NC, 27340
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM (event ends at 11:30 PM)
Watch & Listen
Hiss Golden Messenger
Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger, out September 22 worldwide on Merge Records. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.
I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own devising. Hallelujah anyhow.
Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow.
I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.
Phil Cook and the Guitarheels
When Phil Cook isn't touring the world with his genre-blending folk band Megafaun, he's on the porch. Specifically, the sunny porch of his North Carolina home, playing acoustic guitar while Willie, his loyal dog, lays by. Cook was raised on piano, taking lessons for over 20 years, but nonetheless found himself inescapably drawn to the iconic instruments of folk music: dobro, banjo, acoustic guitar. He began exploring the finger-picking and slide styles of the blues and country records of the early 20th century, learned by ritual rather than formal education. Relocating from his birthstate of Wisconsin to the South further immersed Cook in the rich traditions of American folk, as he absorbed the vernacular music that created and reflected the culture of the region around him.
Hungry Mother Blues was recorded in a single day in the back room of Cook's house, during a rare North Carolina ice storm. The immediacy, intimacy and intensity of the performances have little to hide behind, as every song incorporates a single instrument in all of its vulnerable glory (with the occasional addition of Cook's tapping feet). Cook manages to draw out the emotional resonance of each instrument, with finger-picked compositions that sound like lost classics of the Southern musical canon. Each song on Hungry Mother Blues is dedicated to someone in Cook's life, whether it be a friend, a bandmate or even Cook's unborn child. Devoid of lyrics, the songs function as instrumental love letters to the people around him.
Cook joins an exciting class of modern musicians who are carrying the torch of authentic folk music. Playing from the heart, Cook creates tender and patient compositions that celebrate the traditions of the past by redefining them for the future.
The A's - featuring Amelia Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig from Mountain Man/Sylvan Esso