Published on July 24th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann0
New Blues and Good Vibes for Asheville’s Get Right Band
After a musical overhaul, three former members of Asheville jam band Soulgrass Rebellion — singer/guitarist Silas Durocher, bassist Jesse Gentry, and drummer Chris Pyle (ex-Royal Trux) — veered away from their comfortable status as a Southern-fried jam-rock band over the last year. While they admit that things are still taking shape as the Get Right Band, it seems like they’ve laid down a groovy manifesto: positive vibes, funky rhythms, and loose rock.
“We changed the name, changed the style, and finally became the Get Right Band,” says Durocher, speaking to Metronome Charleston this week from his digs in Asheville. “It’s difficult and challenging to find the right combination of musicians in a band, so that’s one of the best things we have going for us. We’re stable, and we like each other, and we have fun together.”
Durocher and bandmate Gentry grew up together in Maryland before they relocated to Asheville, N.C. in the late 2000s. They performed together as Soulgrass Rebellion for a few years before welcoming Pyle into the band. An experienced rock drummer on his own, Pyle is coincidentally the son of legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. The sense of Southern rock rhythms certainly runs in the family.
“Chris is super laid-back. It’s amazing that he turned out so normal,” Durocher says of his drummer. “He’s an amazing musician, and his drumming allows us to play in all sorts of ways. His chops are great. We try to take advantage of that when we’re on stage, improvising without getting too noodly or wanky. Chris can really get out there, though.”
The Get Right Band got right to work and recorded a clean-sounding, nicely polished debut mini-album titled Shake. The Alternate Root described the collection as “hip-shakin’, earth-quakin’ pure funk fun,” but there’s plenty of straight-up blues-rock and soul in the mix as well.
Built on a typical, slow-rolling blues progression, the new album’s “Voodoo Doll” slinks along in in swingin’ 6/8 time signature with a little blues-man distortion effect on Durocher’s vocals and the quirky accent of xylophone. The frontman’s sparse, Hendrix-esque licks on the straight-grooving “Compliments” add a nice flare (and the extra touch of that xylophone adds a little “Little Wing” joy to the mix).
“There’s definitely some blues going on, but it’s pretty rockin’ and meaty for the most part,” Durocher says. “But we can get funky and groovy at times. We abruptly switched from Soulgrass to the Get Right Band, and we didn’t have an identity at all at first. We pulled in covers and tried out ideas. We worked on songs we wrote 10 years ago, and we worked on stuff we wrote on the spot. Things really started to take shape about six months ago. Some of it’s is dark and serious, and some it is upbeat and jammy. It’s all still developing.”
Fortunately for the band, the music community in and around Asheville has reacted positively to their sound and loose and positive performance style.
“Even though none of us grew up here, we all identify strongly with Asheville,” Durocher says. “We feel very at home here. We feel very rooted here. The great thing about the Asheville music scene is that there is so much support for eclectic original music.”
Durocher says he grew up listening to the deep classics of the classic rock world, but as he learned guitar and worked on his playing and songwriting in recent years, he warmed up to more contemporary rock. “I love the Black Keys Jack White’s projects, and stuff like that,” he says. “I think the Alabama Shakes are awesome. All of that kind of ties into our sound as well.”
That tangle of traditional and contemporary rock and blues might be at the core what eventually sets them apart from some of their hometown colleagues.
“In some ways, I feel like there’s not a whole lot of what we’re trying to do actually going on in Asheville,” he adds. “That’s a good thing and a bad thing because we can stand out in a way, but we have to fight for an audience, too. If you come out with a really good bluegrass band in Asheville, there’s already tons of people there who’ll come out. There’s not quite a built-in audience for what we do.”
Durocher and his bandmates are solid for four free shows in a row in the Charleston area this week. The mini-tour will zig-zag from Folly to outer reaches of East Cooper, starting on Sun. July 28 at the Surf Bar on Folly Beach. They’ll head over to the Isle of Palms on the Mon. July 29 for a show at the Windjammer. On Tues. July 30, they’ll head back over James Island for two sets on the main stage at the Pour House. The excursion will conclude on Wed. July 31 with a set at Awendaw Green’s Barn Stage behind the Sewee Outpost in Awendaw.
“We don’t write set lists for shows in order to let things evolve and change from night to night, so I think these shows will all go really well,” Durocher says of the Lowcountry trek. “We want to be able to deliver honest and spontaneous shows. We want to tap into everything — not the just the songs we want to play, but the vibe of the venue and the people there. We want to be genuine and inclusive.”
Powered by Facebook Comments