I’ve written quite a bit about JOVM mainstay Morgan Christopher Geer, the singer/songwriter, guitarist and creative mastermind behind the acclaimed alt country/freak folk project Drunken Prayer, and as you may recall, Geer, who is now currently based in Asheville, NC is a grizzled pro, who was formerly a member of local act The Unholy Trio and several other local bands.
Interestingly enough, Geer can trace the origins of his solo career to running into the legendary singer/songwriter Tom Waits while at a fish market in Sebastopol, CA. The conversation, which focused on life and art was so revelatory to the JOVM mainstay, that he realized that it was the perfect time for him to step out into the spotlight with his own material — and that conversation may have influenced what may arguably be one of my favorite Drunken Prayer albums, 2012’s Into the Missionfield.
Since the release of Into the Missionfield, Geer has released three more albums 2013’s House of Morgan, 2015’s The Devil and the Blues and 2018’s Morgan Geer’s Drunken Prayer, which have found the Asheville, NC-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and JOVM mainstay restlessly bouncing back and forth between freak folk, alt country, renegade country, blues, punk rock and rockabilly, at other points endlessly blurring lines between genres and styles — all while being wild-eyed and passionate and deftly balancing aching sadness with humor.
The past couple of years have been rather busy for Geer. He’s currently, the touring guitarist for acclaimed alt-country goths Freakwater and he’s been touring internationally with The Handsome Family, and as a result, the Asheville-based JOVM mainstay has played hundreds of venues across 18 countries and 15 states as a touring musician and solo artist, including the Newport Folk Festival, San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall and Pickathon Music Festival. Building upon his growing national profile, Geer’s music has been featured on AMC, NPR, WMFU and Little Steven’s Underground Garage.
Geer’s fourth album, Cordelia Elsewhere was released earlier this year, and the album continues his ongoing string of material that balances heartbreaking sadness and humor while being as wild-eyed and crazy as ever. The JOVM mainstay has been in the middle of a lengthy Stateside tour, and the East Coast leg of the tour featured two NYC area dates — an intimate set at The Treehouse at 2A on Sunday night and a set at Piano’s on Monday night. Opening the night was the Dekalb, IL-born, New York-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and host of the night, Tom Clark. Check out photos from the show below.
Tom Clark is a Dekalb, IL-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who can trace his music career to his formative years listening to Sex Pistols and Ramones, whom he once caught as a teenager at Northern Illinois University. As the story goes, some friends had moved to New York and he wanted to join them. A young Clark sought the counsel of one his favorite musicians Marshall Crenshaw, who advised him to “go for it.” In 1986, Clark and two friends found an apartment on 103rd Street and Manhattan Avenue. Every morning Clark would walk downtown to busk on the street and in Washington Square Park. Eventually, he caught the attention of the owner of Astor Place Hairstylists who hired him to play in the store, taking requests from customers. He then would try to find a number of gigs during the week, playing as much as possible. Clark eventually signed to EMI Records, befriended Lenny Kaye, who produced his full-length debut and opened regularly for Patti Smith. Serendipitously, Clark worked closely with Jeff Buckley, Hank Wedel and countless numbers, most whom became friends, including his hero Marshall Crenshaw. Clark began frequenting Lower East Side bar 2A and by 2011, he began hosting carefully curated shows at The Treehouse upstairs in an intimate and friendly set up. He opened the night, playing a handful of solo songs and a handful of songs with a backing band featuring some old friends.