Twirl Radio #870 – Morgan Geer

After ten years at a National Public Radio station in Chicago, Mike Lidskin returned to California in 1997 and created Twirl Radio, a weekly two hour radio program which features the finest independent music and artists from the rock era. Mike’s on a mission to not “just spin rock music, but to educate listeners about this vital art form.” Indeed, he doesn’t just announce the songs, but gives histories about some of the artists, the albums, and the songs themselves.

You can catch Twirl live each Saturday afternoon, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM PST on Sacramento’s Voice, KUBU 96.5 FM, and archived right here, as well as at If you haven’t headed into your Saturday night with an earful of Twirl, you’re doing it wrong!

Artist | Track | Album
Victor Sotelo | Desperately Tired Of White Noise | Homeland Insecurities
The Morning Line | Complicated | North
Spygenius | If You Go A-Roving | Single release
Melissa Phillips | The Flame | Both Ways
Maxi Dunn | Change The Record | Edmund & Leo
Anton Barbeau | Magazine Street | Natural Causes
Trip Wire | Get Up Slow | Once & Always

Morgan Geer interview
Drunken Prayer | It Happens All The Time | Cordelia Elsewhere
Drunken Prayer | Cordelia | Cordelia Elsewhere

REM | Living Well Is The Best Revenge | Accelerate
R. Stevie Moore | Another Day Slips Away | Afterlife
Lannie Flowers | Doin’ Fine | Single release
Elk City | 25 Lines | Everybody’s Insecure
Identical Suns | Halfway There | Week Minded
Steve Barton | Gimme Your Hand | Tall Tales & Alibis 3
Lost Leaders | All That I Want | Promises Promises
Krista D | Land Mine | Look At Me I’m Krista D
The Sleep Junkies | The First Time Is Never The Last Time | The Fowl Tone Sampler
Girls On Grass | Thoughts Are Free | Dirty Power
Felsen | Self Medicate | Accidental Drowning
Sunshine Boys | Tripping Through Time | Blue Music
Matt Langlois | Spending My Time With You | Merde!
Duncan Faure | All At Once | Pronounced “Four-Uh”
Bill Lloyd | Yesterday | Working The Long Game

On this week’s show, we get to meet Morgan Geer, a guy who’s kind of an Americana legend. He’s the guitarist for Freakwater, which is a big deal all on its own. But then he got the nod to tour all over the US, and 18 other countries, with The Handsome Family. Well, necessity is the mother of invention, and he invented the moniker, and the band, Drunken Prayer. So when traveling internationally with The Handsome Family, he’s a solo version of Drunken Prayer. But on the latest album, Cordelia Elsewhere, he’s got about 7 or 8 musicians listed. So what is he–a band, or a solo act?

When I put the question to Morgan, he indicated that it’s kind of both. He’s based out of both Asheville, North Carolina AND Portland, Oregon, so touring is pretty constant. He’s got pockets of musicians in different parts of the country, that become a version of Drunken Prayer whenever he tours in specific regions. It’s a unique, and very functional idea–and the songs on Cordelia Elsewhere, his fifth album, lend themselves to both types of arrangements.

A couple of interesting names pop up on that album too–the legendary jangle-pop godfather Mitch Easter, who mixed the album and plays some percussion, and Jason Krekel shows up on fiddle. About a decade ago, I had him and Ami Worthen, both of Mad Tea Party, on my show when they were touring out here. A small world gets even smaller.

As far as the music–it’s been described as a direct descendent of outlaw country. I hear that, and I hear a bit of rock’n’roll, and of course, Americana. It’s a good, thoughtful, topical record that actually didn’t take Morgan all that long to write, because it’s a reflection on some of what’s going on out there in the world today. More information on Drunken Prayer can be found at:

A couple of other program notes. I had been under the impression for years, that REM lost their punch when drummer Bill Berry left the band. They did do a couple of quieter albums, but roared back in 2008 with Accelerate, and we kicked off the second hour of the show with an aggressively vital track from them. This was also the fourth week in a row where we premiered a new Identical Suns track, as Todd Stanton, Rene Rodriguez, and Andrew Stanton get ready to release their second album. And…so much more. Listen, and you’ll see!


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