Saturday was a big day in Saxapahaw. After a very well-attended Oktoberfest, the crowd poured into the Haw River Ballroom for a stacked lineup: Hiss Golden Messenger, Phil Cook and the Guitarheels, and the A’s. The concert will likely end up in my Top 5 shows of the year.

The evening started off with an absolutely stunning set by the A’s, Amelia Randall Meath (Sylvan Esso, Mountain Man) and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (Mountain Man). The duo’s harmony singing slowly turned the crowd chatter volume down to silence, as they worked through a brief set of old westerns and a few contemporary numbers.

Phil Cook, joined by Brad Cook and Terry Lonergan, worked through a few numbers from his new album. Phil had a bit more soul in his voice, perhaps because he just came off the road with the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Hiss Golden Messenger, joined by the two opening acts, closed the show, debuting several new numbers. This is HGM’s last performance while M.C. Taylor focuses on the follow-up to the acclaimed Haw. The show ended with a delightful cover of Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic.”

The A’s, “He Needs Me”

Phil Cook and the Guitarheels, “The Jensens”

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Hiss Golden Messenger, “Love So Free”

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Hiss Golden Messenger, “Into the Mystic”

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