Drunken Prayer
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Drunken Prayer

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Alternative


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Portland, Ore. singer-songwriter Christopher Geer of Drunken Prayer pens bittersweet songs with blasts of humor in the vein of Randy Newman and Todd Snider, and his latest LP Into the Missionfield is packed with them. There’s the opening track “Brazil,” a flip-flop rock-meets-country number about unrequited love, and “Always Sad,” a poppy, petal-steel-driven gem. But that doesn’t mean that Geer and his band are rock challenged, because they can blast it with the best of them. All you have to do is give “Ain’t No Grave” a spin and hear the defiant blues-rocker deep down inside the normally plaintive Geer. But Drunken Prayer doesn’t truly unleash the fury that Geer tries so hard to hide until Into the Missionfield’s closer, “Never Tends to Forget.” That beastly beauty sounds like the abandoned bastard love child of Doug Martsch, Bob Mould, and Patterson Hood. The track also features one of Missionfield’s best lines: “Don’t buy wedding rings from secondhand stores/ You get what you pay for, my friend.” Classic. —Chris Haire - Charleston City Paper

"Of all the musicians evoked by Drunken Prayer mastermind Morgan Christopher Geer, the one who most mirrors the Portlander is perhaps Eels' Mark Oliver. Not in style, per se, but in Geer's deft hand in encompassing such a wide range of musical influences and executing them, one after another, in a genre-hopping, stream-of-consciousness flood. And on record, he does most of it himself. On last year's Into The Missionfield, as with the rest of his body of work, Geer drifts between alt-country, psychedelia, jangle pop and Americana, with the compositions glued together by his uniquely blunt cadence."

Willamette Week June 12, 2013 issue Volume 39/32 - Willamette Week, Portland, OR

Why Morgan Geer opted to use the moniker Drunken Prayer as his operating MO isn’t exactly clear, although his rambling, off-kilter exposition gives the impression he may be a bit tipsy at times. Into the Missionfield, Geer’s second album using the Drunken Prayer guise, sometimes sounds a bit schizophrenic, suddenly switching as it does from the awkward ramble that opens the album, “Brazil,” to the straight-on rocker that follows it, “Ain’t No Grave.” Regardless, he holds the proceedings together well, maintaining a modest discipline even when he seems at loose ends. Indeed, this is no one man show; Geer employs a formidable back-up crew, with an instrumental arsenal consisting of fiddle, Flugelhorn, sax, melodica and pedal steel, in addition to the standard rock regalia. So even as he proffers his loping, down-home, good-natured homilies -- as typified by such songs as “Always Sad,” “Maryjane” and “I Saw It With My Own Two Eyes”-- the set-up is always solid and sufficient. Every artist should sound so coherent when in the midst of such intoxicating revelry. - No Depression

Drunken Prayer hit upon an eclectic and winning formula for Into the Missionfield. Led by North Carolina–to–Oregon singer/songwriter Morgan Geer, the group sways from straightforward acoustic folk through mild country-rock (check out the Wilco-fired "Balloons") and sunny pop ("Maryjane") to a moment during "The Missionfield" where Geer seems to be channeling Jackson Browne. A goofy sense of humor keeps things from getting too precious. "Brazil" opens as a jokey love song that sets up a variety of implausible scenarios. "I Saw It with My Open Two Eyes" and "You Walk" capture the bewildered innocence of Jonathan Richman. The band turns up the electric guitars for the traditional folk tune "Ain't No Grave" (best known by Johnny Cash) and recalls the charged electric attack of The Beatles' White Album with "Never Tends to Forget." - iTunes

Can You Book a Band for Your Own Funeral?
Drunken Prayer started our evening with “What Made me Kill,” a raging dirge that barrels head-first into inebriation and oblivion. Jose Medeles of The Breeders carried us through on drums, while Matt Brown (of M. Ward's backup group) picked up the bass line. These two added some celebrity to the night, but the real heart and soul of Drunken Prayer belonged to (respectively) Miss Audra and Morgan Christopher Geer. Audra's soft voice and gliding keyboard hands provided a nice foil to Morgan's buzz saw blues riffs and bourbon-soaked ranting. “Brazil” offered a twisted, yet human side to the band that almost made me buy their live EP (I'll probably get it on iTunes after I finish writing this). But really though, next time Drunken Prayer is here, go see them. If you're in Portland, go see them there. Buy 'em a round while your at it. Your 12-foot tall music critic can't stress it enough. If my funeral were a party, they'd be leading the procession. Hmm...I guess that means that I need to die real soon or they need to play for another 40 years or so; let's not think of which should happen first.

- Times-Standard (Humboldt Co, CA)

"Morgan Christopher Geer (is) the man behind Drunken Prayer and also Warren Zevon's medium, showing him the world from the great beyond" - The Mercury (Portland, OR)

[RELUCTANT POP] When it comes to sagelike figures in rock ’n’ roll, few give off the aura of a bourbon-drunk Dalai Lama more than Tom Waits. Morgan Geer knows this personally. In 2006, when the rootsy 38-year-old songwriter was living on his dad’s farm in Northern California, Waits, who lived nearby, came into the bookstore where Geer worked. They struck up a brief conversation; Waits recommended a gospel album, while Geer sold him a book about rats. Soon after, Geer encountered Waits again, at a local fish market. It was close enough in time to their previous meeting that Waits actually remembered him.

“You haven’t lived until you’ve heard your name come out of his mouth,” Geer says over midday burgers and wine at North Portland’s Bar Bar. That second time around, he and Waits spoke for over an hour. It was a transitional period in Geer’s life, having just left his hometown of Asheville, N.C., in search of inspiration, and he admits to mining Waits for wisdom. “I was at a real crossroads,” he says. “I was out of the creative rut I was in, but once you get out of the safety zone of that rut, it’s like, well, now what do you do? I talked to him and he was like, ‘Well, everything. Don’t put a fence around that property.’”

Geer left the conversation determined to find his artistic voice. He wound up finding it in Portland.

Growing up in the South, Geer felt chained to the region’s deep musical history: If he wasn’t playing the blues, no one wanted to hear it. In Portland, a city he knew little about before moving to, the burden of expectation lifted. He was free to roam around and explore within himself. The result of that exploration is Into the Missionfield, his second album under the name Drunken Prayer. Although he now splits time between the Pacific Northwest and the South, Geer says the record is “a reflection of someone who’s been in Portland awhile.” That doesn’t mean what you might think. Geer, tall and burly with an oil-black beard and a look more trucker than indie rocker, didn’t suddenly start wearing skinny jeans and playing a synthesizer. He did, however, find himself being challenged by the many songwriters now surrounding him. Competition, it turns out, is exactly what he was looking for.

“I wanted to get my ass handed to me creatively,” he says.

Taking Waits’ advice, Geer didn’t allow himself to be fenced in by his own predilections. For Missionfield, he experimented with different chord changes, different phrasings, different subject matter. Most of all, he learned to not be “afraid to do things that were either transparently personal or bafflingly obtuse,” he says. The music is rooted in country and folk (Geer bristles at the term “Americana”), but it’s not beholden to any particular genre. If anything, the tone—dark, but not without humor—is closer to the amorphous pop songwriting of Warren Zevon, Harry Nilsson and, yes, Tom Waits, which for him is a bold step forward.

“Pop music was always a dirty word as far as I was concerned,” he says. “It wasn’t until I moved here that I realized how hard it is to do, and do well.” - Willamette Week (Portland, OR)

I’m kind of obsessed with this artist named Morgan Geer, who calls his music Drunken Prayer. His second full-length, Into the Missionfield is the first DP release I’ve heard, and I’m already in trouble. But Geer/DP has been around for a few years; kickin’ it with, at times… himself. But also (per his Fluff & Gravy profile), with ” members from the Breeders, She & Him, Bright Eyes, The Wipers… and the backing bands of John Lee Hooker and Elliot Smith.”

Yeah? Well, Mr. Geer, I once spent an amazing weekend with the roadie (guy named “Little Man”) for a band called the Real Kids. So there! But, seriously, I can see why all those people have wanted to hang with Morgan. For starters, one of his folks is from N’awlins, and you can hear it in this music – slopped over with biscuits and (fluffy?)-gravy, it’s nuevo Americana at its off-the-cuff best. His tenor vocals, which echo of Levon Helm (the Band) and Terry Adams (NRBQ), feel like a comfy old corduroy jacket. Folks who heart Seth Kauffman/Floating Action are likely to be pleased, as well. That voice is kept busy by Geer’s killer songwriting, exemplified by the Into the Missionfield opener, “Brazil.” - My Old Kentucky Blog with video

Alt-Country / Dark-folk-rockers Drunken Prayer is hitting the road to celebrate the release of Into the Missionfield, the outfit’s second full-length. Into the Missionfield is 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. - Music News (Nashville, TN)

You’d be forgiven for assuming Morgan Christopher Geer (aka Drunken Prayer) called Austin, hell even Nashville, home. But he’s actually from Portland, home to so many sound alike hipster bands. That alone should bring some added attention to his latest, Into the Missionfield, a nice blend of folk and alt country.
With some dark themes, but surprisingly sweet melodies, he can sing about the devil taking your soul (“Always So Sad”) and make it sound like a raise-your- glass-and-sing-with-me pub staple. Not every track is a winner (“Ain’t No Grave” is probably the weakest), but Drunken Prayer is at its best when they slow it down, and bring in the fiddle and organ (“Maryjane” is one of the best).
Coming off like Warren Zevon fronting Uncle Tupelo, Drunken Prayer plays music so unlike most of the songs coming out of Oregon today that you’d swear this was just some hipster experiment in ironic Americana. Regardless the music is still worth checking out even if we are all being duped. - Neufutur Magazine

It's easy to anticipate what you're going to get when an act is called "Drunken Prayer." It's probably going to be a little earthy, a little soulful and a little more humble than most.

Morgan Geer, the lead singer-songwriter and sometimes even sole member of the act, gives you the idea when he's describes the year that led to creating the act: "It's one thing to be on the bar stool and another one to be on the floor. God's gotta have mercy on the person who's in between."

In a phone call while Geer is traveling to visit his mother in Winston-Salem, N.C., Geer sounds as if he was probably fated to make music. Geer grew up in and around Asheville, N.C.

"My mom (Bebe Kern) was a folk and blues singer all her life and her family, my grandparents were all musicians, so I grew up around that," says Greer. "One of my first memories is sitting at my mother's feet while she did a thing on Louisiana public television."

He also dove into his mother's extensive record collection and began writing music at an early age.

"I started writing because I wasn't hearing the music I wanted to listen to, so I just started writing for myself," he says.

Geer began performing professionally at around the age of 16, sneaking into venues with college students at Warren Wilson College, where his mother was working at the time. Great musicians and good audiences, he says, were easy to find.

"As you have passion and can play pretty well it's not hard to find your audience there."

After a few years of working around town, though, Geer was ready for something new. He went to visit his father who has a farm in Northern California.

"I wanted to get out of the creative rut I was in," says Geer. "I wanted to go somewhere a little alien and I wanted to be challenged."

For a year, he says, he was frustrated and musically adrift.

"I didn't get any positive feedback from the universe," he says.

However, near the end of that time, he met legendary singer-songwriter Tom Waits who was inspirational and he accepted an invitation from a friend to ride to Portland, Ore.

"I loved Portland," says Geer. "It feels like a more laid-back, working-class Southern town. You wouldn't get that from (watching) 'Portlandia' episodes, but there's a whole other side to Portland."

The music scene was nurturing to artists and he loved the variety of styles. And he found that he stood out from the crowd.

"In Portland, what caught people's ears was just the novelty — somebody from the South playing overtly Southern music. I wouldn't call it country-rock, but it has gospel and old-time roots. And I think Memphis soul comes out, too."

Geer has since moved back to North Carolina, because it's easier to tour from the East Coast and he wanted to be closer to his family, but he recently returned to Portland for a CD release show, which featured 14 musicians and was, he says, one of the best nights of career. The other times when everything seems perfect are more private.

"There's a lightness of being where you almost can't feel the ground. You know, when a song suddenly comes together. Those moments when you've been beating your head against the wall and you get a good line that finishes a song. Those are sublime moments." - Knoxville.com

Straight outta Portland, Ore., by way of purgatory and a few county jails is Morgan Geer, who with his lapsed Baptist cohorts fully lives up to the bandname. Geer gets right down to the genuflecting with “I’m Gonna Lay Down in Front of My Lord,” a stately, horns-and-slide-guitar number that’s one part the Band, one part Tonight’s The Night and several parts sinner’s remorse. Later, in the woozy, Bad Seeds-in-New Orleans noir waltz “What Made Me Kill,” Geer tries to blame his misdeeds on the booze ’n’ pills, and his flophouse braying almost makes you want to take pity on him. Almost. Because by the time the band plows into a twang-glam-punk, positively murderous, version of Leadbelly staple “Take This Hammer,” you start to get the sense that Geer likes his sinnin’—a lot. Upright citizens, drop to your knees and utter a few prayers of your own if the band comes to town. This Geer boy, he’s bad news.
By Fred Mills - Harp Magazine

For Drunken Prayer singer/songwriter Morgan Christopher Geer, the trade winds are always blowing.
Like the rudder of the sailboat he's named after, they gently nudge his passions and muse varying degrees along the horizon, and as a veteran artist of many groups and sounds, he’s conditioned to listen no matter where his mind and body may go.
A one-time resident of Mobile — whose family still fills Bay area phone books — the 38-year-old journeyman plied his trade for years in Asheville, N.C., before pulling off a cross-country relocation to Portland, Ore., as part of a "personal, creative expansion."
That’s where the Drunken Prayer project took root and where his desire to challenge himself artistically has resulted in growth that includes the recent release of the second Drunken Prayer album, "Into the Missionfield."
"It’s like shaking up the Christmas ball and letting the glitter fly around a bit," Geer said from the road recently, about his move to Portland. And yet, for one who purposefully sought and seemingly found a new groove, Geer is the first to admit "Missionfield" is unmistakably a Gulf Coast album infused by his roots.
"A lot of my music is informed by the Gulf Coast (and) I’m heavily informed by Gulf Coast music," Geer said.
Geer’s family has rained music on Mobile going back several generations, including his grandfather and great-grandparents, who both played for the Mobile Symphony in the Golden Age of Jazz. His uncle, Chris Kern, will play drums with Geer when he makes his Mobile debut at Callaghan’s on Thursday, March 15. Kern is a veteran of the ‘70s Gulf Coast band the Blues Birds.
Geer has lived all over, including stints in New Orleans, but says the constant reference point in his life has been Mobile, and while "Missionfield" is by no means a "local album," it highlights the mélange of sounds and souls that the Gulf Coast has pioneered over its buccaneer history. "What do you call the music of the Gulf Coast?" Geer said. "There’s jazz, blues, country, Caribbean and even some classical stuff."
Nearly all those influences play a part on the new album, one Geer admits he put more energy into than his previous recordings.
With a signature voice that skirts the edge of gruff and Randy Newman-esque sarcasm, and rhythms even an infant could stumble to, the songs of "Missionfield" are as accessible as they are layered.
Geer said he wrote the album while living above a studio in Portland, which put him in the path of musicians from groups such as the Breeders, Beck, Bright Eyes and She & Him. He said the mutual respect couldn’t have been more tangible than when those artists volunteered to back him up on the album "for basically a slice of pizza and a couple of beers."
The result is a tight, 11-track easterly stride among the weeds and dandelions of Highway 90, a trip through the history of a man who has been wide open to life’s influences and experiences.

Geer experienced an acute amount of loss leading up to "Missionfield," which is evident on many of the tracks. In the rolling opener, "Brazil," he asks the open-ended question of what it would take to "somehow make it worth it" to spend time with him. Be it living in South America or having parents who owned a liquor store and sold weed.
The paced island ballad "Beachcomber" even speaks of "happiness buried in the dunes," giving the listener a choice of whether they want to be saved or left uncollected in the shallow graves of waves.
Such scuffed fantasy, like the expansive use of guitar, percussion and horns, weaves itself throughout the album, landing on songs like "Balloons" (an easy dance number opining that God gives out balloons in heaven) and "You Walk (As if You’ve Got Someplace to Go)."
Like the best music of any coastal genre, these new songs of Drunken Prayer serve as flashlights in a dark harbor, not banishing the shadows as much as defining them.
And such is best expressed in tracks like "Maryjane," which Geer admi - AL.com (Mobile, AL)

Kids today. They just don’t know how good they’ve got it. What with their cellular phones and flat screens and high speed internets. Why when I was their age, we didn’t even know what the internets were. [Editor's note: Erskine Cherry knew what the internets were. The rest of us thought Erskine Cherry was more than a half-bubble off. Some kind of cross between Frank Zappa singing about the invention of AIDS in some subterranean lab in Leesburg and Weird Al frantically trying to figure out why Coolio hates him. But the Editor digresses.] The point is that our technology was limited to one phone at the end of the hall. When that phone would ring, whoever was closest would pick it up and yell down the corridor to whoever the phone was for. Occasionally, a sweet, thick voice would come over the line from Mobile Bay and ask for “Morgan.”

I did not know any “Morgan” and said so, but the voice was insistent that Morgan Geer did, in fact, live there. A picture started to come together, and I assured the caller that yes, indeed, Mr. Geer did keep a room in the building but that he was not in the area at the moment. He was actually far away and would be for a while. That was my understanding at least, since I was staying in his room at the time. Having been in his room for several days, I had not seen Chris. Or Morgan. Now I was getting confused.

Thing is, Chris Geer was a blues man. Even in his absence, people talked about his talent for laying down some mean 16 bar blues. For you kids, these were the days of the great grunge explosion, when all those sounds we had been slam dancing to in small clubs in seedy neighborhoods sprang into the mainstream. It was hard times for soul survivors, and the fact that Chris Geer was an actual survivor only added to the mythos. All I know is something about a Kharman Gia and an unexpected arboreal encounter, but the lingering evidence in the form of a facial scar only heightened my impression that Chris Geer operated in an atmosphere more rarified than the one I stumbled through.

The voice that called for Morgan, however, was a pretty familiar one to me. Mine called from the banks of the Harpeth River, but it was pretty much the same in all other respects. This was a voice beyond grunge and slide guitar. It’s a voice of home that is both more fundamental and more complicated than the ones we like to make up for ourselves. If you ask me, this is the voice that we will have to answer sooner or later if we want to know who we really are in this world. Deep stuff, for sure, and the kind of stuff that could drive a man to drink until he cries out in his drunkenness for some type of salvation.

Not that I find “Into the Missionfield,” the new album by Morgan Geer’s outfit Drunken Prayer to be some sort of desperate cry from the dark night of the soul. It is more of a set of character studies of people who will, are, or maybe should have called across the void in the way of John Hiatt (with whom Geer shares a pernicious growl and the ability to turn a phrase) to ask “Is anybody there?” in ways that heighten the ambiguity of whether the “anybody” need be divine or simply sublime. Take the first track, “Brazil,” for instance. First of all, it defied my expectation of either hard rock or rockin’ blues as Geer’s shot out of the gate. Instead it’s a slow rocking entreaty for a love that is, again defying all expectation, requited. It is, in fact, a sweet tune without being saccharine.

Anyone looking to Drunken Prayer for a shot of blues served neat does not have to wait very long. The very next track, “Ain’t No Grave,” has more than enough raw power to get even the most barbecue-laden drunkard to get up and shake his ass. That’s kind of the point, I suppose, but this also serves as an introduction to those things of the spirit which appear readily enough to make you wonder if Morgan is looking to get elected a deacon. [Editor's note: Since Geer is clearly working from a Baptist rather than an Epis - Sanuk D

Drunken Prayer enjoys dual citizenship in Portlandia and Americana, though the latter's more of a summer home, given the band's wide-ranging predilections. Soul, rag, blues, folk and gospel all move through these tunes, while ringmaster Morgan Christopher Geer reveals himself to be the illegitimate offspring of Tom Waits and Levon Helm. His wheedling delivery borrows Waits' ambling grit while echoing The Band's skillful blend of roots idioms and beguiling narrative. Five years after Drunken Prayer's self-titled debut, they've returned with Into the Missionfield, an energetic, assured effort highlighted by the funky take on the traditional "Ain't No Grave" and the gentle Laurel Canyon folk-pop of "Brazil."
—Chris Parker - Indy Week (Chapel Hill, NC)

"...one part the Band, one part Tonight’s The Night and several parts sinner’s remorse...Bad Seeds-in-New Orleans noir..."
Fred Mills
Harp Magazine

"This isn't 'Americana' - it's authentic, unapologetic American music, straight, no irony chaser. Drunken Prayer are aware of their influences but they progress them by keeping their tongues far enough away from their collective cheeks that the sound remains classic and fresh at the same time. These sorrowful, brutish, angry, hell-bent songs pick up a narrative thread in American music that's too long been left in the dirt. Long may they ride."
Marcus Estes
Tables Turned, Portland, OR

"...a blistering example of bad-assedness."
Alli Marshall
Mountain Xpress, Asheville, NC

“Morgan is the real deal as a frontman, a barking ringleader with chops between Tom Waits and the Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes”
Casey Jarman
Willamette Week, Portland, OR

"Like an alt.country Led Zeppelin..."
MastanMusic Hour, Portland, OR

"The songs contain striking lyrics…some of them are very deep and will challenge you."
Brenda Barbee
Roots Music Report

"Why in the name of all that’s holy is Drunken Prayer not a massive, national success?"
The Stonewailer (thestonewailer.wordpress.com), Portland, OR

"There is a primal sorrow in this release that flows like a molten lava, occasionally erupting through the surface of this country-R&B gem...This is saint and sinner stuff full of passion and pain."
Jeff Weiss
Miles of Music

“The songs are captivating, plaintive, genuine and tender…”
- Consolidated

There is a primal sorrow in this release that flows like a molten lava, occasionally erupting through the surface of this country-R&B gem...This is saint and sinner stuff full of passion and pain. - Jeff Weiss, Miles of Music

This isn't 'Americana' - it's authentic, unapologetic American music, straight, no irony chaser. Drunken Prayer are aware of their influences but they progress them by keeping their tongues far enough away from their collective cheeks that the album sounds classic and fresh at the same time. These sorrowful, brutish, angry, hell-bent songs pick up a narrative thread in American music that's too long been left in the dirt. Long may they ride. - Marcus Estes, Tables Turned

Like an alt country Led Zeppelin, they take the blues and mix it with twang and pure rock power. Their first CD, the self titled "Drunken Prayer" is heavy on finger licking good guitar and unassuming vocals.
- MastanMusic Hour, Portland, OR

The first time I heard Drunken Prayer’s singer Morgan Geer, I thought he sounded an awful lot like John Murry. That feeling has not subsided one bit over time.

Writing simple and somber ballads with a sense of remorse that can only come from an evening of sin, if I were asked to describe Drunken Prayer in one sentence it would be this, “Drunken Prayer are Those Poor Bastards’ younger, kinder cousins.”

ninebullets.net - 9 Bullets


Into the Missionfield (LP, Fluff & Gravy 2012)
Christmas vinyl 7", Fluff & Gravy 2011)
Drunken Prayer...with Sam Henry (live EP, Early Grave 2009)
Drunken Prayer (LP self titled, Deer Lodge 2007)



Can you book a band for your own funeral?
- Times-Standard, Humboldt County, CA

Morgan Christopher Geer, who performs as Drunken Prayer, was born a melancholy boy to a New Orleans folk singer and a California mushroom farmer. A tall man with dark, heartbreaker looks, he has a compelling stage presence. Wit and charismatic delivery la Warren Zevon come easy, in whispers, shouts and sneers. Hes a showman--a barking ringleader with chops between Tom Waits and the Butthole Surfers Gibby Haynes (Willamette Week, Portland, OR).

Sometime in 2006 at a fish market in tiny Sebastopol, CA, Morgan 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 where sin and redemption bleed into each other-- where pool hall gloom and tent revival glory meet. Thus it came to pass that in a fish market between Tom Waits and a bin of dead salmon, Drunken Prayer came to life.

Drunken Prayer is not trying to be neo or alt or Americana, not trying to do anything but let out a howl informed by living life and soaking up American music from slave tunes to psychedelia to street parades.

Making music out of the reservoirs left by listening to humanity. Drunken Prayer makes an honest tune. A Geer lyric is an unironic narrative of the harsh and beautiful harmonies and discords every human faces: a kind of holy blues.

Geer wrote and arranged many of Drunken Prayers first compositions while wood-shedding on a farm in Sonoma County, California, before moving to Portland, OR. The songs that made up the first Drunken Prayer (self-titled) record are a hefty mix of blues, country and alternative, in traditional arrangements, often violently dynamic and always with "an almost inculpable sincerity" (Mountain Xpress, Asheville, NC). His big-shoulders vocals and swampy guitar create a nicely creepy backdrop for rakish, playful stories of eternal themes. The dark themes at the core of tracks like "What Made Me Kill" and "The Demon" contrast sharply with the sweet melody and sentiment of "Pearls and Swine". Blurt Magazine called it "one part The Band, one part Tonight's The Night, and one part sinner's remorse... Bad Seeds-in-New Orleans noir."

In February, 2012 Drunken Prayer joined Portland-based Fluff and Gravy Records to release Into the Missionfield, an ambitious record with gut-bucket guitars, keys, and heavy percussion. The sounds are bluesy and psychedelic; the horn arrangements are as loose and buoyant as a New Orleans Jazz funeral. The lyrics are as sweet as they are damning. No Depression raved that "Every artist should so coherent when in the midst of such intoxicating revelry", and the Portland Mercury went so far as to call Geer "Warren Zevon's medium, showing him the world from the great beyond".

House of Morgan, the Nov 2013 release (Fluff and Gravy) finds Geer taking things into his own hands. While the critically acclaimed Into the Missionfield was a densely layered studio undertaking, House of Morgan, was self-recorded using a Tascam cassette machine, a Radio Shack condenser mic, and Garage Band with nearly all of the instruments played by Geer in his bedroom. The resultant tracks are striking in their raw and naked beauty. From an enchanting cover of the old Depression era, "On Mobile Bay", to screaming punk/blues rants like "KEF-666" and "Ultrabad", the musical themes are widely varied.

While there are three different versions of previously released tracks here, House of Morgan is far from a sentimental stroll through the Drunken Prayer back catalog. These tracks offer a window into the mind of Morgan Geer, and the view that it affords is at once unsettling and comfortable. Though the record is sometimes a sharp contrast to previous efforts, this is undoubtedly a Drunken Prayer record. Geer's trademark vocals, guitar, and wit are the threads that tie these divergent records together.

Drunken Prayer splits residence between Asheville, NC and Portland, OR when not on tour.

Geers previous band, The Unholy Trio of Asheville, NC, also featured members of The Reigning Sound and Freakwater. On their 5th Year Anniversary compilation Bloodshot Records featured the Trios devilish version of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise".

Band Members