Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Asheville-area musicians aren’t able to perform live at venues in front of audiences, but their online fan bases remain as rapt as ever. In order to provide listeners with new tunes and have a little fun with the current quarantine, several local creators have made music videos that directly address the present social climate.
Ryan Barber’s humorous “Stuck in the House” was among the first such videos and posted March 25. On the Fairview-based singer-songwriter’s Facebook page, he describes the track as “a lil’ somethin’ funky just for y’all while we’re all grounded.”
“It’s pretty much self-explanatory,” Barber says. “It was inspired by cabin fever, confusion, fear and frustration after Day 3 of quarantine. I wrote the tune in a little over half an hour and am currently working on a sequel.”
The following day, local rockers The Get Right Band recorded the social distancing song “The Resistance Is Distance” from its three members’ separate houses and made a video for the timely composition.
“It’s kind of a public service announcement,” says guitarist/lead vocalist Silas Durocher. “[We’re] hoping to help convince everyone to take this thing seriously while throwing in some much-needed comic relief.”
In crafting a visual companion for his recently written and recorded single, “Crazy Alone (Quarantine),” Asheville singer-songwriter Morgan Geer — who makes music under the name Drunken Prayer — and his wife, Christa de Mayo, spent a day driving around the city, filming their friends from a distance, behind shut windows and closed doors.
“I had put a shoutout on social media asking WNC friends if they’d be open to house-by-house video drive-bys, and we got a positive response,” Geer says. “It was a bittersweet afternoon, but sweet just the same.”
Elsewhere, local musician/producer Matt Williams was driving to The Eagle Room studio to record a cover of a Beatles classic with Jon Lauterer (drums/percussion), part of a forthcoming fundraiser for a local nonprofit. On the way there, Williams was listening to his longtime personal favorite band 311 and got the idea to tweak the lyrics of its song “Don’t Stay Home,” thereby transforming it into “Please Stay Home.”
“It just so happened that [Jon] was also one of the biggest 311 fans I know, so after we tracked the Beatles tune, I told him about my idea. He loved it!” Williams says. “So, I said, ‘Well, if you can nail the drum part, I’ll follow through hard on this.’ He busted it out in a single take from memory like a boss.”
To complete the song, Williams called up his friends MonoNeon (bass) and Jonathan Scales (steel pans), who agreed to track from their respective home studios, and got Roddy Wilder (background vocals/turntables) to swing by The Eagle Room to lay down his parts.
“The rest is history,” Williams says.