Friday night in the Back Room at the Cat's Cradle, Hiss Golden Messenger celebrated the recent reissue of Bad Debt
by playing it in its entirety. Upon first release, the album suffered an untimely fate when all the remaining CD copies burned during the 2011 riots in London. But Paradise of Bachelors has rereleased the album, which features a strong collection of songs in their most raw and stripped down—just a guy and his guitar.
Despite the small room and a mellow atmosphere this type of performance would hope to create, a number of things disrupted the night. From a small group of folks chatting for the better half of the show to the heavy door leading outside slamming on a regular basis, these distractions took a toll on the mood on the stage. But between these distractions the power of the songs from Bad Debt
was on full display this evening.
Opening the show was Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, performing her first ever solo show. Sauser-Monnig's voice is stunning. Singing in almost a whisper, her tone was as delicate and soothing as the lyrics she sang. From songs about the old west to a cover from "The Mother of Folk Music" Jean Ritchie, Sauser-Monning was met with a warm reception. I look forward to see her playing out more.
At the end of the evening, Hiss Golden Messenger and Sauser-Monnig joined to sing a handful of songs to be featured on Hiss Golden Messenger's upcoming and untitled album. This will include the rerecording of an old The Court & The Spark tune, which originally featured famed folkssinger Linda Thompson.
Below are several clips from the evening's performance.
Hiss Golden Messenger, "No Lord Is Free"
Hiss Golden Messenger, "O Little Light"
Hiss Golden Messenger with Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, "Lucia"
Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, "Long Leaf Pine"
Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, "Black Waters (Jean Ritchie)"