For the follow-up to their 2013 EP, Shake, the members of Asheville’s The Get Right Band knew their goals were bigger than what their checking accounts would allow.
“Our vision for the record was to do something big, something bold and powerful and unique,” says guitarist/vocalist Silas Durocher. “We felt like the songs we had written deserved that kind of treatment — we knew we couldn’t fulfill the vision if we were severely limited by studio time and resources. It had to be done right if it was going to be done at all.”
Like many independent musicians before them, Durocher, bassist Jesse Gentry and drummer Jian-Claude Mears turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for their debut full-length album. Aiming for a project with all the quality of a label-backed record, yet without the interference and compromises that often befall such corporate endeavors, the group achieved those objectives with Bass Treble Angel Devil. The record makes its way into the world on Friday, Sept. 12, with an album release show at the Asheville Music Hall.
A slow, steady building of a fan base allowed the band to feel that it had earned the right to request funds. Through East Coast and Caribbean tours, plus festivals such as FloydFest, All Go West, Music City Brewer’s Festival, Steppin’ Out and DIG Fest, the band connected with people who connected with its sound and “leave-everything-on-the-stage” shows. When the album was ready to make, Durocher and company reached out to that carefully cultivated network with confidence. They weren’t disappointed: 130 people chipped in, and the $7,000 goal was exceeded by $620.
“There’s a mutual respect and love between us and our audience. It’s a family; a movement,” Durocher says. “That’s the whole idea behind The Get Right Band: Come to the show, listen to the record, let go of your worries, ‘get right,’ feel good, learn something, share something, shake something [and] let loose.”
Recorded and mixed at The Eagle Room Studio in Weaverville throughout March and April, Bass Treble Angel Devil was co-produced by Durocher and veteran producer Matt Williams with regular input from the rest of the band. Together, they recorded the basic tracks for all of the songs in the first several days, performing the large majority of the drum, bass and guitar parts live in the studio to best reflect their on-stage dynamic.
“The Get Right Band is nothing without the chemistry between the musicians, and we wanted that to come through,” Durocher says. “We are best friends on and off the stage, we listen to each other intensely, we react, we move as one — all of that had to be captured on the record, so we wanted to do the basic parts of the tracks live like that.”
Once the foundation was laid, the trio went back through and added a variety of vocal harmonies, additional guitar tracks, bass solos and plentiful percussion. Providing help at this juncture was a Who’s Who of local guest musicians, including original Get Right drummer Chris Pyle, vocalists Eleanor Underhill (Underhill Rose) and Stephanie Morgan (stephaniesid), and Chuck Lichtenberger (The Archrivals, stephaniesid) on keys.
The resulting 13-track collection showcases The Get Right Band’s comfort with a range of styles that nonetheless sounds like part of a cohesive project. In putting their own spin on Black Keys-type clap rock (complete with xylophone), sophisticated island grooves and R&B and funk that recalls, at turns, classics from The Staple Singers and Stevie Wonder, the band’s versatility shines through.
The album’s highlight, however, may be the infectious, comedic refrain of “You Can Come.” In it, Durocher’s lyrical persona invites a girl to a party with the line, “You can come, you can come, you can come, but your boyfriend can’t,” punctuated by an “Oh no” from his bandmates. Fun and catchy with plenty of soul, it’s the kind track that could vault The Get Right Band to the next level.
WHO: The Get Right Band with Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats and Roots of a Rebellion
WHERE: Asheville Music Hall, ashevillemusichall.com
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 12, at 9 p.m. $7