M.C. Taylor gets a lot of help from his friends. On guitar, Taylor's band, Hiss Golden Messenger, has boasted the elegance of Nashville's William Tyler and the intricacy of Raleigh's Chris Boerner. Megafaun's Phil and Brad Cook are frequent contributors, backing Taylor with keys and bass. Black Twig Picker Nathan Bowles sometimes provides warming banjo textures, while Durham's James Wallace bolsters Taylor's knotty croon with comfortably rough harmonies. All this would mean nothing if Taylor didn't have the songs to back it up. He uses searing folk as a means to sort through personal doubts and prejudicial dogma. His victory is hard-fought: "I was gone for a fool's age," he offers on this year's Haw, "a peaceful man so full of rage." He's saved by devotion. To what? That's the mystery that makes Hiss Golden Messenger work. Many of Taylor's friends join him for this show.