Rock / Alternative / Country / Blues
Into the Missionfield
Artist: Drunken Prayer
Produced by: Fluff & Gravy Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In 2006, Morgan Christopher Greer, son of a New Orleans folk singer and California mushroom farmer, found himself in a fish market deep in a conversation with one of his heroes, singer/songwriter Tom Waits. The talk about life and art inspired Greer to create a band around his trademark sound. The result was Drunken Prayer, a band whose sound has been characterized as rock, alternative, country and more, but as Morgan Christopher Greer sees it, his music is representative of no style in particular. I recently had the chance to check out Into the Missionfield, the bandís second album due for release on Fluff & Gravy Records in February 2012.
The first track, Brazil, is a long song of sorts in which a lover basically asks his woman if he would still be worth her time if he moved to another country. The lyrics are catchy and the music is great, but itís Morgan Christopher Greerís vocals that drew me in. I was captivated by that raspy, commanding voice that reminded me so much of singer/songwriter Randy Newman.
Following this track is an old country song attached to Born to be Wild-like guitars and percussion. There Ainít No Grave is an old gospel tune that has become a favorite of country western singers everywhere. Even Johnny Cash covered it on his last albumÖfunny enough, said album was released after his death. Played with the rocking guitar riffs and slamming percussions, this song has been given an awesome defiant edge.
After rocking out with that tune, you come to a more traditional country sound in Always So Sad. The next song brings out Morgan Christopher Greerís New Orleans roots. Maryjane seems to be about a man who doesnít like to be tied down to one placeÖor one girl for that matter. I loved the blending of voices in the chorus on this one. This is followed by Take a Walk which is a mix of folk and alternative rock. I can actually picture this song as one of those catchy tunes used as background music on a commercial about computers or cellphones.
I Saw It With My Own Two Eyes is a fun 60s-style song that seems to be about invaders of various types (allusions to aliens and Christopher Columbus are apparent). The Missionfield is another New Orleans rooted track with Hurricane Katrina as its backdrop. You Walk is a mix of rock and honkytonk that basically dresses down someone whose been acting like they were important. Balloons is a song about heaven set to rock ní roll guitars, horns and a slamming rock beat. Beachcomber is a sad, yet poignant track about a woman named Delilah, who is a finder of lost things. She looks for old memories and mementos along the beach and wonders why no one ever combs the sand to look for her. The last song, Never Tends to Forget, contains lyrics that basically echoes the sentiments of never say never and forever may not be too long: ďDon't say never / when you really mean not yet. / Don't say for forever / forever tends to forget.Ē
Into the Missionfield is an excellent example of Drunken Prayerís diversity as a band. The album has everything, from rock to honkytonk to country to alternative. As said earlier, this bandís musical sound canít be pinned down and doesnít deserve to be. Morgan Christopher Greerís vocals are captivatingly clear and cut right to the heart of the matter at hand. The lyrics are at times biting and other times whimsical. The guitars and percussion are incredible. I praise this album enough and urge any music fan to check out Into the Missionfield by Drunken Prayer - you wonít be disappointed!