Latest pick of cool
emerging artist in our ongoing collaboration with Sonicbids.
By Fred Mills
The BLURT staff put our heads (and ears) together and we have
the latest pick for our Blurt/Sonicbids “Best Kept Secret”: it’s Drunken
Prayer, from Portland, OR, our 7th and final pick for 2010, and our
14th BKS since commencing the program of spotlighting new and
under-the-radar artists back in 2008.
Drunken Prayer is the brainchild of Morgan Geer, who first
pinged the national radar while woodshedding on the fertile musical scene of Asheville, NC,
where his group The Unholy Trio (featuring members of Freakwater and Reigning
Sound) terrorized club stages on a regular basis. That band also appeared on
Bloodshot Recs’ 5th Year Anniversary compilation with a cover of
Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise.” Geer subsequently relocated to the Northwest
where he started putting together a new combo, and by 2009 he’d released the Drunken Prayer album and the Drunken Prayer… with Sam Henry live EP.
He performs under that moniker both solo and with a full band – the latter
having included at various points bandmembers from the Breeders, She & Him,
the Wipers, Beck, Eels, John Lee Hooker and Elliot Smith – and his live
appearances are by all account raucously anarchic displays of primal
roots-rocking (with no shortage of punk-sired aplomb).
In fact, when Drunken Prayer initially came to the attention
of yours truly, I was smitten enough by the band’s self-titled debut to wax
enthusiastically for Harp magazine:
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.
I still stand behind those words. We’ll have an interview
with Geer posted to the site shortly in which we let him fill you in on all
this and more. including details on the upcoming new album. Check out his official website as well as his MySpace page and
Facebook page for additional details as well as song samples. He’s one of the good ‘uns, trust us.
Bands, go to www.sonicbids.com/blurtonline to submit and have us review your materials for feature consideration.
>Our November ‘08 Best Kept Secret: The Handcuffs,
>Our December Best Kept Secret: Black Swan
Green, from Brooklyn
>Our January 2009 Best Kept Secret: stephaniesId,
>Our March Best Kept Secret: Polly Mackey
& the Pleasure Principle, from England
>Our June Best Kept Secret: Wiretree, from
>Our August Best Kept Secret: Bulletproof
Vests, from Memphis
>Our November Best Kept Secret: The Vivs, from
>Our January 2010 Best Kept Secret: The Public
Good, from D.C.
>Our February Best Kept Secret: Dirty Dancing, from Austin
>Our April Best Kept Secret: Jenny Dee
& the Deelinquents, from Boston
>Our June Best Kept Secret: The Rebel Set,
>Our August Best Kept Secret: Alice Austin,
from Los Angeles
>Our October 2010 Best Kept Secret: Doug McCurry, from Charlotte