Hiss Golden Messenger Gets Mellow At Luck Reunion With A Little Help From Phil Cook THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER & PHIL COOK @ LUCK REUNION 3/15/18
LUCK, TX- For most of our SXSW and Luck Reunion artist coverage, we’ll keep it relatively short and sweet. We have over 80 artists to cover, so cut us some slack! 😉 We’ll basically be formatting each post into two parts: (1) Why our contributor wanted to see this act and (2) what our contributor thought of the performance”. Easy peasy. If you want to learn more about the act, make sure you click through to their social media links to get in the know. You won’t be disappointed!
Why I Wanted To See Hiss Golden Messenger & Phil Cook: I actually didn’t have His Golden Messenger & Phil Cook on my list of acts to catch Luck Reunion, but while I waiting for Ezra Furman I struck up a conversation with a Hiss Golden Messenger fan, and he implored me to return to the Revival Tent Stage informing me that MC Taylor and company usually rip it up during their live sets.
What I Thought Of Hiss Golden Messenger & Phil Cook’s Performance: After catching Kurt Vile’s set on the main stage, I decided to take my new friend’s suggestion and trekked across the Luck grounds to check out Hiss Golden Messenger. Apparently, many festival attendees knew what my new friend did and had already surrounded the stage, packing the Revival Tent Stage should to shoulder.
As I peered over the rows of head in front of me, I noticed that there was no band on stage, but rather only MC Taylor and Phil Cook. Apparently, this would be a slightly more stripped down performance than what my new friend had described to me. MC Taylor acknowledged that his performance without a full band backing him may have caught a few of those in attendance off guard and coyly addressed the audience after the first song stating, “You may notice that we’re doing things a little different tonight. We still hope you like it.”
Based on the fact that nary a person in the crowd left his stage during the performance was validation that they did.
Accompanying MC was Phil Cook, and to be perfectly frank, as familiar as I was with Hiss Golden Messenger’s catalog, I had to look up Phil Cook the following day to figure out who we was. When I discovered that he had worked on all of Hiss Golden Messenger’s albums starting with the critically acclaimed 2013 album “Haw” to Hiss Golden Messenger’s 2017 album “Hallelujah Anyhow”, it all made sense (note that I also read somewhere that MC worked on Phil Cook 2017 album “Southland Mission”, but I couldn’t find a relatively reliable resource to confirm that).
Now, it wasn’t necessarily because the music they were playing was acoustic, but there was real overwhelming sense of calm and ease that washed over the audience during the entire performance. You could tell by the way they were playing with each other that these two men shared a bond rooted in the music they were playing and they spoke a tenderly delicate language through the notes that were gently strummed or picked on their guitars.
I couldn’t stay for the entirety of their performance as I had to head over to the main stage to catch another artist but I’ll tell ya … if I could have laid out a lawn chair and pop a cold one during the festival, I would have wanted to have done it during this performance.
— Derrick K. Lee (@methodman13) April 12, 2018