Morgan Christopher Geer, who performs solo and with band as Drunken Prayer, is the son of a New Orleans folk singer and a California mushroom farmer. His wit comes easy, in whispers, shouts and sneers. He’s a showman–“a barking ringleader with chops between Tom Waits and The Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes” (Willamette Week, Portland, OR). His records are a dark mix of blues, country, traditionals and reluctant pop music; dynamic, with “an almost inculpable sincerity” (Mountain Xpress, Asheville, NC). His swampy crooning vocals and angular, percussive guitar style create an unsettling backdrop for rakish, playful stories of unironic and eternal themes.
In February, 2012, Drunken Prayer became Portland based Fluff and Gravy Records’ inaugural artist with the release of Into the Missionfield. Since then Geer’s records have been an ambitious and critical success; the Portland Mercury going so far as to declare Geer “Warren Zevon’s medium, showing him the world from the great beyond.” The sounds are bluesy and psychedelic; the arrangements as loose and buoyant as a New Orleans Jazz funeral. The lyrics are as sweet as they are damning, offering a window into the mind of Morgan Geer. The view that it affords is at once unsettling and comfortable.
Drunken Prayer’s 4th album, The Devil & The Blues (August, 2015) is a party record. But fans of The Reigning Sound, The Sadies or Freakwater will immediately recognize the droll narratives of sadness, rebellion and wild redemption on this trip through the history of American roots music. Here, once again, Morgan Geer finds common ground at the peculiar crossroads of gospel, soul and 60's psych.
There's a real connection to the aforementioned bands too. Along for the ride with Geer is the rhythm section of drummer Lance Wille and bassist, David Wayne Gay, both former members of The Reigning Sound (Geer, Gay, and Willie, as The Unholy Trio, have a crazy popular video of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" that Bloodshot Records released a while back). Dallas Good, from The Sadies, drops by to play some spectacular guitar, and Morgan Geer and David Gay both record and tour with the pioneering alt-country group Freakwater.
Rowdy, unswerving and often outrageously funny, The Devil & The Blues, is the new old sound of Drunken Prayer.