Review: Drunken Prayer – Into The Missionfield (2012)
Drunken Prayer is your new favorite folk band. Morgan Christopher Greerhasn’t stayed in the lines or stuck to a specific genre of music. Instead, he sings and he plays, and you’d just have to be crazy not to listen. Their new album Into The Missionfield is consistent and genuine. It ranges from blues-y sounding jazz notes, to a clean Americana folk twang.
Greer has none other than Tom Waits to thank for the help and inspiration in finding his sound. After running into each other a couple of times in Northern California, the two chatted for a bit in a fish market. After that, Greer realized that he needed to allow himself more freedom. Greer had grown up in the South, and letting himself play anything other than the blues was initially very challenging. Luckily, moving to Portland was exactly what he needed to grow.
I was lucky enough to see Drunken Prayer play at The Echo (Los Angeles, CA) just after discovering their new album last week. Not only were they the absolute nicest bunch I have ever seen perform, but Greer has an undeniably impressive stage presence. He banters and jokes with the crowd, and the crowd is more than happy to talk back. Maybe it’s the comforting Randy Newman-esque quality of his voice, or maybe it’s just his easy-going manner, but he seems to have an effortless connection with people.
Into The Missionfield is a simple, relatable album with stories and feelings we are all familiar with. The band itself features players from artists such as Beck, Bright Eyes, and Elliott Smith. “Always Sad” is a favorite track of mine. It’s a cheery-sounding song telling a contrasting story about someone who is scared of everything and unsurprisingly, always sad. “Balloons” is sweet and catchy with more of the folk-rock feel. The chorus of “When you get to heaven, God gives you the balloons you lost when you were alive” is one of my favorite lines from the album. What’s especially impressive throughout this album is the way that Greers voice is always spot-on, no matter what the mood of the song is. He hits some unexpected low notes in “Never Tends To Forget” that finish off the album in a great way.
Drunken Prayer is touring the South for the next few weeks, so if they’re playing near you, I definitely recommend checking them out. I really like the direction Drunken Prayer has taken with Into The Missionfield. I have no doubt we will be hearing more from them soon!