Review: Morning River Band – Abyssal Channeling

a2759587334_10For the second installment of Bucket Full of Nails’ Philadelphia Week, we check in with Morning River Band, the mainstay outlet of Jeffrey Fields, who has covered nearly every solar and lunar phase of the day with band name variants. Now joined with Denny Barron, Arthur Herrmann and Joe Idell, the band has just released Abyssal Channeling, a stout six pack of songs that’s true to the band’s folk-grass roots.

Brimming with booze and lament, Abyssal Channeling is populated by lives sunken well below sea level as on the suicidal “To Give Up (The Ghost)”; “Jacob’s Dilemma”, a biblical-referencing tale of the libidinous title character; and “Drinking Blues, No. 6 (Hard Drinking Blues)”, the latest swaying installment of the band’s ongoing saga of life’s hangover.

The greatest surprise on Abyssal Channeling comes via the two instrumental compositions. “Morning River Raga” Parts I and II combine traditional mountain music with classical elements, truly highlighting the band’s interplay and woozy ethos.

While running counter to Philadelphia’s current punk resurgence, Morning River Band, along with The Miners and myriad other bar bands, uphold the love of traditional music that continues to flow through Philadelphia. While Abyssal Channeling may mark a rebirth for Morning River Band, it sets a new mark for other bands to best.

Morning River Band will be playing select dates around Philadelphia starting this week in support of Abyssal Channeling. Dates follow.

Jun 19 – Bus Stop Music Cafe (Pitman, NJ)
Jun 20 – Venue Boy (Philadelphia, PA)
Aug 09 – Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA)

Stream/download Abyssal Channeling as a free digital download or purchase a limited-edition cassette below.

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