OLS & State Theatre Presents: Hiss Golden Messenger

The writing of the songs that became Heart Like a Levee started in a hotel room in Washington, DC , in January of 2015 during a powerful storm that dark- ened the East Coast. At that time I was feeling—more acutely than I had ever felt before—wrenched apart by my responsibilities to my family and to my music. Forgetting, momentarily, that for me, each exists only with the other. How could I forget? Though maybe my lapse was reasonable: I had just quit my job, the most recent and last, in a series of dead-end gigs stretching back 20 years, with the vow that my children would understand their father as a man in love with his world and the inventor of his own days. They would be rare in that regard. And then—driven by monthly bills and pure fear— I left for another tour, carrying a load of guilt that I could just barely lift. But in that snowy ho- tel room I found the refrain that became my compass: I was a dreamer, babe, when I set out on the road; but did I say I could find my way home?

Through the spring and summer, while traveling and when I was off the road and at home in Durham, I wrote about love—the teaching kind and the destroying kind— and about movement, and being moved, really and truly moved. I wrote about our responsibilities to our brothers and sisters—of blood and the road—and how easy it can be to abdicate those responsibilities at the slightest threat of bad weather. I reckoned with things that I couldn’t see, but I could feel; and in so feeling begin to under- stand as real to me and those whom I love. I carried my piece of the fire, or tried to. The heart is a beautiful vessel, prone to failure and breathtaking acts of grace. An impermanent, permeable thing, lovely for its changeabil- ity, blameless for its fallibility. It’s hard to even begin to conceive of how to measure our boundaries. Heart Like a Levee is my taking stock of my universe, my span, my inventory, my leave-taking and return over back roads so blue they look black until the dawn.

Hiss Golden Messenger

7pm doors – 8pm show | $15 adv. – $15 day of

Please Note: As a collaboration event with State Theatre, we are unable to apply member discounts or guest passes, or any other kind of discount to this show. We apologize for the inconvenience.

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