It’s great to be back in the Northwest. The beer is flowing, the volcano’s erupting and the gospel music is still ringing in my ears from last night’s rehearsal at Fluff and Gravy Records.
Congregation, we bring you a gift from Appalachia’s soft white underbelly: the latest video from the House of Morgan series: “Lay Down”.
This year we’re happy to add the Guitartown Party at the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC to our Fall tour.
8/24… Big Love Fest, Asheville, NC
9/06… Hopscotch Music Festival – Guitartown Party, Raleigh, NC
9/12… The Secret Society, Portland, OR
9/13… solo – Fluff & Gravy Music Festival, Olympia, WA
9/14… solo – Hattie’s Hat, Seattle, WA
9/18… solo – The Kenton Club – opening for Richmond Fontaine, Portland, OR
9/20… solo – The Deer Lodge Music Festival, Southeast Portland, OR
Congregation, here you have the latest installment from the House of Morgan video series - “Heigh-Ho (Nobody Home)”. This is #5/11. The video features rare shots of a disturbed 1960′s San Francisco.
The traditional song is a 16th century English madrigal that’s rumored to scare away the demons of hard times. It was often sung as a children’s carol at Christmas. The original tracks were recorded in December, 2011 live at KXCI in Tucson, AZ, with mandolin and backing vocals by W.C. Beck.
Here is “Cordelia, Elsewhere”, a new song by Drunken Prayer. The performance is from last weekend’s Vincent’s Ear reunion held at The Double Crown in West Asheville, NC.
Heavy Rebel ’14 is upon us. File under: ROCK
This weekend finds us stepping down onto the dark, hyper-patriotic underbelly of the Hillbilly ID.
Thursday, July 3rd: Drunken Prayer + Bloodshot Bill @ The Mothlight – Asheville, NC
Friday, July 4th: Drunken Prayer @ Heavy Rebel ’14 Friday night, 10:45 in the Jailhouse – Winston Salem, NC
Splitting time between Portland, Oregon and Asheville, North Carolina, Drunken Prayer released a new album last year called “House of Morgan” on Fluff & Gravy Records.
Below is more with the heart and soul of the band, Morgan Christopher Geer. Read the article on the band here.
First, is this a solo show or a full band show?
Geer: We’ll see. That’s been a thorn in my side since moving back to North Carolina. My band here is composed of loaners so I’ll see who’s available. As of today it looks like Drunken Prayer will be an electric two-piece, drums and guitar.
Was recording “House of Morgan” on a four-track cassette recorder to be a more singular in making songs?
No, it was more like working with driftwood. I took our newfound immobility as an opportunity to work with whatever was at hand, found materials like my limited recording system, unfinished tracks and the instruments I have around me.
How did you get those raw tunings on songs like “Ultrabad” and “KEF-666”? “KEF-666” is dynamite. Playing that must be fun to level at a crowd.
Well they’re probably closer to raw de-tunings. Those two were recorded live with drums and guitar on a Radio Shack PZM mic. The vocals on “Ultrabad” were sung through the pickups of an old Telecaster. Some of what you might be hearing could also be the tape flutter in the initial cassette recording. Unfortunately I’ve yet to play “KEF-666” live since “House of Morgan” came out. I’d love to, but I’ll need a solid band first.
Why led you to revisit “I saw it with My Own Two Eyes,” albeit with a cool co-singer?
This version is creepier. It’s about a UFO encounter I had as a little guy so it felt right. I’m a big Flaming Lips fan and they cover themselves all the time so I figured I could too. It’s really liberating to rid oneself of the rules we put up. The co-singer is me, run through an effects processor that makes me sound like a drowning baby.
“Heigh Ho” is great, hypnotic with a lot of punch.
It’s a 16th Century English madrigal. We used to sing it in my high school chorus at Christmas. I always thought it would make for an interesting Old Time style song, so I recorded the guitar, mandolin and vocals with W.C. Beck at KXCI in Tucson in the middle of a tour, and then I did the rest at home.
Do you see yourself as a restless personality, someone needing constant change of scenery?
Yeah. My single mom and I moved a lot in my formative years. I was forever making new friends and entertaining myself. I’d like to be out playing more than I am now.
Writing songs, are you writing about yourself or the world through as it moves in and around you?
Mostly external but a little of both. I try not to use songwriting just as therapy or navel gazing but it happens. I’m not going to say anything that hasn’t already been said by someone more poetic and qualified, so I try to avoid preaching and philosophizing. I’d rather give you something to preach and philosophize about.
I like lyrics because they’re not necessarily meant to stand alone. Often lines evolve just because the combination of vowels and consonants work well with the melody. The really great thing about that are the unintentional and subjective meanings that can reveal themselves. It’s important to me that the songs have a life of their own, so they can change a lot from performance to performance. The recordings are more like snapshots of what they were doing that day.
Star News, Wilmington, NC
The peaceful folks at Wild American Radio included us on the latest episode of The Death To False Country Show.
Thu 5/29 – The Mothlight – Asheville, NC
Fri 5/30 – The Sparrow – North Charleston, SC
Sat 5/31 – Satellite Bar and Lounge – Wilmington, NC
Sun 6/01 – The Cave – Chapel Hill, NC (early show)
My dear grandfather used to sing me this song when I was just a lad. Here you go congregation, the latest in the House of Morgan video series: “ON MOBILE BAY” – filmed on location with a cellular phone and a Scrabble board.
We were recently asked by The Deer Lodge to submit a George Jones cover for a tribute released on the 1 year anniversary of his death. Here’s our version of Jones’ gospel classic, written by Leon Payne, “The Selfishness in Man” as reviewed in the April 29 edition. The words to this song are unforgettable. It was recorded with a Baldwin Fun Machine, my mom and my sweetheart are singing background vocals.
Thursday 4/24… The Milestone, Charlotte, NC
Friday 4/25… The City Tap, Pittsboro, NC
Saturday 4/26… Lyrics, Burlington, NC
Don’t worry, I know we love each other no matter what band/ singer-songwriter/ animal acupuncturist you vote for.
Here is the link to vote for all your Asheville favorites:
Enjoy your bottomless Mimosas responsibly.
“Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)”
“the video is the result of being snowed in and day drinking in Asheville, North Carolina. It started out as a poorly executed Bigfoot hoax and devolved into just going to a bar for the rest of the afternoon”
Thanks Blurt Magazine for the review of “I Saw It With My Own Two Eyes Again”, the new video from the House of Morgan series.
Here’s an acoustic version of “Love Looks Like A Master” from the next Drunken Prayer album due early 2015.
This weekend we played three of our best shows since returning to The South from our beloved Portland, Ore.
Chapel Hill spoke/screamed in tongues at The Cave as we played “Just A Closer Walk With Thee“.
Cheering strangers in Wilmington at The Satellite Bar and Lounge grinned ear to ear, like mules eating garlic, while we played new unheard songs.
We were welcomed back to Carrboro with bagpipes and go-go dancers. As a result, our “soundcheck” at The Station lasted 45 minutes.
It’s times like these that I’m reminded to be thankful I get to do what I do.
Fluff and Gravy Records just posted video #3 in the House of Morgan series.
This weekend finds Drunken Prayer starting 2014 as we did ’13: giving praise to the disputed King of Rock and Roll at Elvisfest! in Chapel Hill, NC. TRUE FACT: my very first public gig was a 4th grade talent show – I sang “Hound Dog” in a white bespangled jumpsuit my mom made for me. What’s that? Of course I won! I was so good that later that day I was mugged in the street by a large Italian boy who insisted I “SING ELVIS” under threat of punching. This was my introduction to show business.
Here’s a look back at 2013:
- House of Morgan recorded at home in Asheville, NC, released on Fluff & Gravy Records of Portland, OR. Brain dump.
- Opened for the lovely Freakwater in Chattanooga, TN, got compared to Leon Russell by Janet Bean
- “The Missionfield” (official video) featured at The Music Video Asheville Festival. Smile!
- Played the last DooNanny Outsider Folk Art Festival in Seale, AL. RIP.
- Cop put a gun to my head in Birmingham, AL
- Played our debut shows at the Double Door in Charlotte, NC, the Alabama Music Box in Mobile, AL and Slim’s in Raleigh, NC
- 8 visits to the Research Triangle. Came back dumber.
- A triumphant return to The Heavy Rebel Weekender. Not as scary as it sounds.
- Played memorable shows with Sally Timms, Janet Bean, Denim Wedding, Brother Dege, The Piedsmontsmen, The Krektones, Unholy Trio, Truckstop Darlin’, Blue Rags, Root Jack, Them Teasters, The My-Oh-Mys, The Mutineers, Casey Ruff & The Mayors of Ballard.
- KZME & Asheville FM radio shows. FCC be damned.
- “met” Father John Misty
- Recorded a set for Daytrotter. Finally hip.
- 2 midwest tours: Louisville, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus. Saw lots of “keey-ows”, and the last police officer in Detroit.
- 2 northwest tours: Portland, Bellingham & Seattle.
- Portland Mercury said something nice about us
- The Next Waltz
- #1 on Reverb Nation all the time!
- Recorded “The Selfishness in Man” for The Deer Lodge George Jones tribute album
- Played a Gene Clark/ Gram Parsons tribute at The Grey Eagle (Asheville, NC). Killed it.
- Mountain Xpress video interview. “No more interviews”
- A new album written, recorded and mixed at Collapseable and Fluff & Gravy studios; featuring Dallas Good of The Sadies and the artwork of Jon Langford; to be released sometime 2014.