The Band are one of the great rock acts of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Although that time is also associated with the rise of psychedelia, the music of the Band is anchored in the roots rock tradition—put simply, their music will never bring to mind any skies with diamonds. However, that doesn’t mean contemporary artists can’t take the music of that essential Band and throw in some psychedelic flourishes, just as the Portland, Oregon outfit Drunken Prayer has done with their cover of “Evangeline”, featuring Freakwater’s Janet Beveridge Bean on supporting vocals. The video to “Evangeline” features distinct washes of psychedelic color, an appropriately quirky, Pacific Northwest touch to this classic tune. For a slightly off-kilter take on America as only Portland can bring it, Drunken Prayer will do just the trick.
Frontman Morgan Geer tells PopMatters about “Evangeline”, the 7” single it occupies, and the video: “I recorded the two songs on this single at home while I was mixing an upcoming LP. I wanted to pay homage to a couple of artists that were big around my house growing up: the Band and Willis Alan Ramsey. This was originally just something I was going to record and give to family at Christmas, but Ezra Meredith at Deer Lodge Records heard the songs and offered to help put it out as a 7” single.
“‘Evangeline’ by the Band, is a duet with Janet Beveridge Bean from Freakwater. I’m playing guitar with them now and we have a great collaborative rapport, so putting it together was a walk in the park. She recorded her part in my living room in about 10 minutes. We could’ve done tons more, but there was wine to drink.
“The video was shot in the graveyard behind my house in Asheville, NC. For her part Janet was gracious enough to float around her pool in a nightie.”
The “Evangeline” / “Satin Sheets” 7” is out now on Deer Lodge.
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