ALT. COUNTRY/DARK-FOLK-ROCK BAND, DRUNKEN PRAYER CELEBRATES RELEASE OF SOPHOMORE FULL-LENGTH, INTO THE MISSIONFIELD, FEBRUARY 7, 2012 VIA FLUFF AND GRAVY RECORDS
On February 7, 2012, Portland, Oregon-based indie, Fluff & Gravy Records will release Drunken Prayer’s sophomore full-length, Into the Missionfield, an eleven track collection of dark tales and darker melodies. A journey down a path less traveled, but always more rewarding.
Some may categorize it as alt. country, Americana, folk-rock, or a number of other genres, but, to Drunken Prayer mastermind Morgan Christopher Geer, the songs aren’t trying to be anything; they’re just his way of letting out a howl formed by life and the history of music. Not representing any one style of music – not representing at all, just being. Making music out of the reservoirs left by living and listening to humanity. Drunken Prayer makes an honest tune, an un-ironic narrative of the harsh and beautiful harmonies and discords every human faces: a kind of holy blues. There is a unique genuineness here born of pure inspiration.
Described by music journalist Fred Mills as “…one part the Band, one part Tonight’s The Night and several parts sinner’s remorse… Bad Seeds-in-New Or-leans noir,” Drunken Prayer pulls no punches.
A tall man with a menacing presence, a towering stage persona, and a raspy voice that commands attention with stories where sin and redemption bleed into each other, Geer’s entertaining wit and charismatic delivery a la Warren Zevon come easy, in a swagger of whispers, shouts and sneers. Drunken Prayer’s songs find the honest place where pool hall gloom and tent revival glory keep one another bona fide.
He’s a showman, “a barking ringleader with chops between Tom Waits and the Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes,” says Portland’s Willamette Week.
All of this comes to life on Into the Missionfield, an anything-but-ordinary “singer-songwriter” record. The album is heavy on percussion, some songs featuring two drummers. The gut-bucket guitars and keys are dense, blues-y and psychedelic; the horn arrangements are as loose and buoyant as a New Orleans Jazz funeral. Best of all, the lyrics are as sweet as they are damning.
When Geer sings “don’t say never, when you really mean not yet. Don’t say for forever, forever tends to forget” on the album closer, “Never Tends To Forget,” the urgency in his voice is coupled with such sorrow and vinegar that you can’t help but be pulled in.
Album opener “Brazil” instantly smacks of melancholy and remorse, both in Geer’s words and voice, offering up a haunting folk number which contrasts sharply with the roots-rock meets pop “Always Sad,” a jangle-y number you can’t help but dance and sing along with.
The garage rock comes alive on Geer’s “Ain’t No Grave,” a soul-rocker that will set your speakers on fire.
Then there is the title track, “The Missionfield,” a song that exemplifies Geer’s ability to write an accessible roots-influenced song, incorporate liberal doses of soul, and top it all off with lyrics that will haunt the listener for days.
Including guest appearances by players from The Breeders, Beck, Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Supersuckers, Kristen Hersh, and I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House, Geer’s friends help flesh out the songs on Into the Missionfield, picking up where Drunken Prayer’s acclaimed self-titled debut left off, and moving the band toward uncharted territory.
And, to think, Drunken Prayer was born out of a strange turn of events, sometime in 2006 at a fish market in tiny Sebastopol, California. Geer found himself in a conversation with one of his heroes, Tom Waits, about life and art. The talk moved Geer to unleash his trademark sound. Thus it came to pass that in a fish market between Tom Waits and a bin of dead salmon, Drunken Prayer came to life. Not bad for a melancholy boy born to a New Orleans folk singer and a California mushroom farmer.