Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain Studio, Asheville, NC
A man felt he was bound for hell.
Instead, he tells of how Jesus saved him from such a thing by shooting him in the head.
M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger tells us this story in a new song that he recorded here in Asheville, North Carolina, which roars with the sound of a violin that could be signaling the sort of inclement weather that cooks up a summer storm that wipes out houses and takes lives - with its winds and its unchecked anger. It's a sound that comes from the pit of a stomach. It comes from the toughened up part of the heart - the part that has had to protect itself over the years, the part that knows when to remain in the shadows or the deep end of the pool. The man that Taylor sings about here is broken but doesn't want to be. He's been worked over and yet he's still been responsible for enough of the bad stuff that being shot in the head by Jesus is actually like winning the lottery. The man feels that all of his mistakes and flaws, all of the errors in judgment and every single little transgression finally have the chance to be erased out of the books. All of the black marks and the barriers stacked before him have suddenly fallen by the wayside, nowhere to be seen. Taylor sings, "He loves us all but the ones who fall/A special place in his ranks/At least I hope this is how it goes."