How many bands have you been turned on to and immediately knew that you needed to see them live? That is exactly what happened to me with Hiss Golden Messenger.
I was in a conversation with someone and, when the dialogue turned to music, she mentioned loving Hiss Golden Messenger. I perked up because I relish discovering new bands that have active and engaged fanbases. A quick internet search revealed not only is this band really good, but they were sold out at a venue near me (Eddie’s Attic) here in Atlanta, but they’d be in Birmingham the night before the Atlanta show.
This blog is not about live shows, but if Hiss Golden Messenger comes somewhere near you, go to that show.
I picked up Hallelujah Anyhow at the show and was excited to bring it home and give it a spin.
The vocals on this record are very much Bob Dylan-esque. It is quite clear that Dylan was a big influence in vocalist MC Taylor’s life except for the vocal work on Hallelujah Anyhow is more intelligible than any Bob Dylan recording.
There is a slight twang in his voice that is reminiscent of Hank Williams. In fact, he sounds a little like Hank III’s country sound.
Hallelujah Anyhow is the rock side of the folk-rock genre. It is by no means a heavy album, but it is folk music that has the tendency to rock just a little. It is an album with an unobtrusive sound that is a perfect companion soundtrack to some relaxing time spent on your couch.
Musically it is as if DNA from Bob Dylan and Van Morrison were mixed with the Dave Matthews Band. You can hear on Hallelujah Anyhow where the band could easily go off on a jam band tangent.
This is a fun record to put on the turntable while making out with your girlfriend. It is not lovemaking music; it is not dancing music; it is not sing-a-long music; it is a good solid album to enjoy while covering up the sloppy sounds of kissing. Or any other relaxing activity you partake in.
My favorite track: Harder Rain