Heartbreak and Beauty

Jammin' with The Get Right Band.

Jammin’ with The Get Right Band.

“For me it always comes back to making people dance,” says guitarist Silas Durocher. “That’s really The Get Right Band’s sole mission.” When people are dancing it’s more a communal event than just a performance, Durocher says. “It becomes one big collective thing. That’s what the name is about, getting everybody together to get right, to let go of the stress. We’re all together for the common purpose of feeling good and having fun.”

The Get Right Band grew out of the ashes of another popular Asheville band, Soulgrass Rebellion. But Durocher and bassist Jesse Gentry go back a lot further than that — they were jamming in middle school in Maryland. “All of my early projects were with him. We played in garage bands, in little punk rock bands,” Durocher recalls. “And later in high school we started getting into jam bands and improvisation and funk.

“The chemistry and the friendship and just the years of experience, 15 or so years of playing together, are such a huge part of The Get Right Band. I mean, at a certain point it becomes basically full-on telepathy.”

Durocher recalls hearing his folks playing The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd when he was in middle school, and he started to get interested. “Then, one day I was in the basement and stubbed my toe on something. Looked down, and it was a guitar case, my dad’s old guitar from college that hadn’t been touched in something like 25 years. It was missing strings, completely out of tune and falling apart. I strummed it and the heavens parted. Truly it was kind of an instant like, this is what I’m meant to do with my life. I dove in immediately and haven’t put it down since.”

Durocher and Gentry were always into funk and classic rock and roll, but also enjoyed different types of music. “Jesse helps keep things interesting and we’re always turning each other on to things,” Durocher says. “I grew up listening to all the classics, Beatles and Zeppelin and Hendrix and playing rock and roll.

“Hendrix has been probably the biggest influence, Jerry Garcia has been a huge influence. Trey Anastasio, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, just a lot of the classic guitar pioneers, those are all guys who to my ears chose melody and expression and soul over speed and flashiness, which does not attract me quite as much as a listener or as a player.”

At New College of Florida, Durocher started studying classical music and classical composition and “went deep into that for awhile. I’ve been into the turn of the century early 1900s guys, Stravinsky, Bartok, certainly late Beethoven, and then some contemporary composers like Steve Reich and John Adams are big influences. Astor Piazzola was a big influence.”

After college, Durocher moved to Asheville and immediately got into some high profile groups, including Laura Reed And Deep Pocket, David Earle And The Plowshares, and then Soulgrass Rebellion with Oso Rey. He also created an outlet for his classical and modern compositions — Lovestruck Suckers — and when Rey put the brakes on Soulgrass, Durocher hit the ground running with the groove-oriented Get Right Band.

“I’m the main songwriter and Jesse also contributes, but the band really shapes them and everybody puts their personal style on it,” Durocher quickly notes. “I feel like, in all its forms, beauty is a major source of inspiration.”

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