Morgan Christopher Geer, the man behind Drunken Prayer’s moody blend of Americana and alt-folk, has the sort of gravelly, lived-in voice that evokes memories of The Band and Tom Waits. Coincidentally, it was Tom Waits who convinced Geer to form Drunken Prayer – in the middle of a fish market, no less.
“I met Tom Waits when I was working at a bookstore in Sebastopol, California,” he explains. “He lives near there and would come in from time to time. I ended up selling him a book about the rats in New York City, and he turned me on to a great gospel record recorded live at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem by John Hammond. We ran into each other again in the seafood isle of a small local market. I thanked him for recommending the record, and that lead to a long talk about music and life. I doubt he remembers but it meant a lot to me. He inspired me to sing in my own voice, a scary thing to do.”
On Drunken Prayer’s second album, Into The Mission Field, Geer barks and croons his way through a song cycle inspired by garage rock, soul, psychedelia, and the band’s folksy roots. It’s an eclectic mix, but everything comes together on the title track, which even flirts with a bit of gospel music.
Here’s a preview of the title track off Into The Mission Field: