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Haw in its Habitat.

Well, we’re almost there. April 2, the release date for Hiss Golden Messenger’s majestic Haw, is right around the corner. The vinyl has arrived, and it’s looking and sounding incredible. You have to hear the heavy-duty bass tones, worthy of Robbie Shakespeare, to believe them; it’s a house-shaking record when you turn it up. Check out the LP package above in its natural North Carolina Piedmont habitat (aka the backwoods lot of PoB HQ here in Chapel Hill.) If you haven’t yet pre-ordered, please consider doing so now. We’re closing down the drawing for a free (and rare) copy of Hiss Golden Messenger’s Bad Debt LP, Root Work LP, or Country Hai East Cotton CD tonight (3/22/13), so the 20 lucky winners will be notified shortly. Pre-orders will start shipping immediately thereafter.

Stay tuned for a temporary full-album stream on Paste, available from Monday, March 25 through Monday, April 1. Check our Facebook and Twitter action for updates on that.

We now have three songs from the album streaming in full. This week, American Songwriter’s Davis Inman conducted a deep interview with Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor, covering such topics as Wendell Berry, Mississippi John Hurt, George Saunders, and a lack of interest in rock and roll. You can read that here, and check out the premier stream of the ambling “I’ve Got a Name for the Newborn Child” below, or via our Paradisiacal Playlist:

“Newborn Child” also recently appeared on the April covermount CD of Uncut Magazine, and they generously followed up with a spot on their Playlist in fine company–next to Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Vile–calling Haw‘s “soulful, creative take on American musical traditions… his best yet, possibly.” Thanks, y’all!

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The Fader kindly premiered honky-stomp scorcher and album opener “Red Rose Nantahala” as well, claiming that it “wouldn’t feel out of place somewhere in the first half of the Band’s catalog.” Listen for William Tyler’s tearing solo:

We’ve been streaming “Sufferer (Love My Conqueror),” the first single, for a while now, but we recently discovered this homebrew video by HGM fan Jesse Sheppard, which is rather lovely:

Be sure to check out Jesse’s other films here.

HGM is about to embark on a short tour of the UK and Ireland in May, accompanied by William Tyler, but there will be an intimate and mellow release party and solo performance at 6pm on April 2, at Chaz’s Bull City Records in Durham, North Carolina, to honor the occasion. Check here for more details.

M.C. Taylor traveled to Austin for a few SXSW solo shows and earned some mighty praise from Chris Richards of the Washington Post and Randall Roberts of the L.A. Times. Richards noted “the hairs rising off the back of [his] neck” during HGM’s set of songs that “aim to unravel the eternal tangles of faith and fallibility.” Roberts picked up on HGM’s barbed imprecations, nominating him for “best curse” of the festival, directed toward the new pope and Gov. Pat McCrory both, with a caveat: “If I’m going to send out a curse, I want it to be in the right key.”

It’s still early, but some Haw reviews have begun rolling in. HearYa deems the record “country soul that is equal parts Lambchop and Van Morrison,” while The Real Music has some kind words for the album here.

Finally, some words from Lew Welch and Mike Wiley: