Hearts of Oak: Nate Wallace’s Hearts of Oak play dark-alley Americana that strays now and again into spacier territory. The Portland musician cites Spiritualized and Crazy Horse as big influences, especially on his latest record, New England. Vocally, Wallace is as tried-and-true as they come, touting an airy voice of old. Musically, Hearts of Oak prefers to wander, pairing eerie, steely folk with biting fuzz rock. The trio (and sometimes quartet) has a revisionist quality about it, taking a classic genre and putting it under a blurrier, sometimes stoned, microscope.
Drunken Prayer: Morgan Geer, who performs and records under the name Drunken Prayer, is the son of a New Orleans folk singer and a California mushroom farmer.
Family lore has it that when the O’Connors first came to America from Ireland, among Morgan’s distant grandparents’ only possessions was a single violin string.
His great-grandfather, William Kern, was concertmaster for the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He and his wife Anna Celeste Norville both played for the Mobile, AL Symphony circa 1920. William was also a composer, including several operas. William would not let their son John take music lessons because he saw it as a dead end career.
John Kern, could play anything: trombone, clarinet, banjo, thump-bucket, spoons. Anything. He played with the Classical Harmonica Association. He blew the alto and tenor saxophones in Jazz bands all his life, right up until he passed away just a few years ago. Mr. Kern composed more than 1,000 songs, most of them charted out on staff paper. All of his children are musicians.
His first born daughter was a New Orleans via San Francisco folk singer with a penchant for Texas outlaw country. Her only child played in a sandbox at her feet while she sang songs for Louisiana Public Television.
Bebe Kern taught Morgan Geer how to play and sing an original song.
Morgan Geer is the founder of Drunken Prayer and current guitar player for iconic alt-country goths, Freakwater. Recently Morgan has been touring internationally with Freakwater and The Handsome Family.
Geer cut his teeth in the art-punk-jazz scene of Asheville, NC with his Fugazi-on-acid rock band, The Merle. Later still in Asheville, he formed the vexing country-gospel band, The Unholy Trio, featuring future members of Reigning Sound. In Portland, OR Geer founded his most recent longstanding project, Drunken Prayer, that has to date released 4 LPs plus a handful of singles and a live EP.
In 2018 Morgan is recording a solo album in Asheville, NC and Portland, OR and developing a documentary on the Asheville rock scene. He’s once again touring with The Handsome Family, this time in Europe.