Hiss Golden Messenger - Bad Debt Vinyl Record

Hiss Golden Messenger - Bad Debt Vinyl Record

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Remastered By Chris Boerner At Kitchen Mastering

M.C. Taylor recorded this spiritually devastating, austere antecedent to the widely celebrated Hiss Golden Messenger albums Haw (2013) and Poor Moon (2011) direct to a portable cassette recorder at the kitchen table of his pine-entwined home in rural Piedmont, NC in 2010. It was the dead of winter and the pit of the financial crisis, a moment when the dire ramifications of debt – in its economic, political, and personal senses – had assumed a rank immediacy and terror for many working people around the world, not least of all in the American South. Taylor, his one-year old boy Elijah sleeping in the next room, was compelled to chart the sacred valences of debt, doubt, and family in fresh ways, in the process stripping bare and reinventing his songwriting idiom.

Ruminating on the riddle of faith, a firstborn son, and thorny existential questions large and small, the album laid the lyrical and compositional foundations for HGM's critically acclaimed releases to come. Half of these domestic devotional songs appear elsewhere in the HGM discography in radically reinvented arrangements and permutations – Taylor's writing practice revealed itself following Bad Debt as essentially iterative, the deliberate enunciation and re-articulation of koans – but they exist here in germinal, psalmic purity and economy, as unadorned and plain and perfectly ragged as the cedar floorboards in that Brooks Branch cabin.

Remastered by Chris Boerner at Kitchen Mastering. Artwork re-imagined by Sam Smith (Lateness of Dancers).

  1. Balthazar's Song
  2. No Lord Is Free
  3. Bad Debt
  4. O Little Light
  5. Straw Man Red Sun River Gold
  6. Far Bright Star
  7. The Serpent Is Kind (Compared to Man)
  8. Call Him Daylight
  9. Jesus Shot Me in the Head
  10. Super Blue (Two Days Clean)
  11. Roll River Roll
  12. Drum