Wednesday, March 29, 2017

MILMIDMUSMIN: He Wrote the Book

Song: He Wrote the Book
Album: Southern Grammer
Artist: Hiss Golden Messenger 

Favorite Moment: 
0:00 The pounding chord progression has me hooked immediately. It serves the ultimate purpose of preparing me to hear what comes next. A gospel fanfare.  
The wailing guitar that comes in at 0:46 to echo M.C. Taylor Durham's 
vocals (if not melodically than in grit) is a close second 

Favorite Lyric: 
"I heard they made him walk
Yeah with chains upon his legs And he walked a while until he come upon that place And his true companion I think John was his name Oh he wrote the book so we could know him"

There's a genre of music, I'm not sure if it has a name, it would be at the same family reunion with Southern Gospel and Folk, but can't stand to talk to either of them for too long without needing a break. The thing that defines it is the artists that perform it. They sing the song as though the devil himself is nipping at their heels. Many of the songs of Johnny Cash's American recordings fit here, Iron and Wine takes a dip in this river from time to time. Hiss Golden Messenger's "He Wrote the Book" belongs to that genre. In fact upon first listen I was reminded of a song performed by Johnny on the aforementioned American Recordings called "Mercy Seat" written from the perspective of a man who is about to be executed by electrocution. In it he relates "I hear stories from the chamber/ Christ was born into a manger/ And like some ragged stranger /He died upon the cross /Might I say it seems so fitting in its way /He was a carpenter by trade / Or at least that's what I'm told" I get the feeling that the narrator of that song and this could be the same man. Or at least they would be men who understood each other.  They hear stories from the bible, everyone is talking about eternal consequence and now in a moment of divine importance they reflect on the bits they remember from sunday school, and stumble slightly as they frame them in the visceral and flawed world they have lived in since. I won't ramble on any longer expect to say this song is worth a listen. You can find it on Spotify or or on Youtube here. Hiss Golden Messenger has a very deep catalog and this is barely scratching the surface. I know for myself
 I can't wait to become familiar with the rest of it.

As always the illustration was created by me
If you have a song you think I should here. Free to send me a DM on Instagram or an email at with the subject line milmidmusmin

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