For the first time in 12 years, the readers of the Times don't think the Rockets are the best band in Arkansas | Rock Candy

Thursday, July 17, 2008

For the first time in 12 years, the readers of the Times don't think the Rockets are the best band in Arkansas

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 9:41 AM

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Matt Joyce of the Gettys.

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The Gettys have a lot going for them. The four-man band's members are young or young-ish. Several of them have hair or goatees that look pretty rock 'n' roll. They play out — or at least they have, for the last several years, been playing out — nearly every weekend. Their material varies, as a party band's should, from what lead singer Matt Joyce terms “anything that'll get people movin' ” to “anything that'll get people rockin.' ” Which, in practice means the Beatles, Elvis, Poison, Tool, Big & Rich, Shaggy and on and on in all sorts of unexpected directions. But the band's not-so-secret weapon, what likely pushed the Gettys ahead of perennial winner the Rockets in our “Best Band” reader's poll, is the enthusiasm they inspire in the ladies of Central Arkansas.

Few local bands draw as well as the Gettys, and no all-male band pulls in women in such disproportionate numbers. These ladies, at least anecdotally, are attractive 20-somethings and 30-somethings, who love the Gettys, particularly lead singer Matt Joyce, with the kind of passion usually reserved for the John Mayers of the world. They love the Gettys so much that many of them call themselves the Gettys Girls and attend every show.

Joyce, who, by day, is a stay-at-home father of three (soon to be four), sees the relationship between the band and its most passionate fans as a synergistic one. “We promote love. We promote a fun time. We promote Gettydom — that spirit of happiness,” while the women, “bring energy — they dance, they have fun, they stay classy. They're, in effect, selling the business.”

Like any good businessmen, the Gettys realize that there is only so far they can go by playing six to eight times a month around town. They're scaling back, and they're eyeing regional touring. Look for them, in the coming months, to perform locally about three times a month, Joyce says. And expect those shows to be bigger affairs with promotional tie-ins and parties that stretch beyond venues.

Without the immediate demands of playing shows every weekend, Joyce says the band is hard at work writing originals in the country-rock Cross Canadian Ragweed vein (Joyce mentions one called “Wrong Train to Lula,” inspired by a band member who accidentally drove to Tallulah,  La., instead of Lula, Miss. for a gig). With several in the can, Joyce says they're hoping to have an album's worth together in time for an album release sometime this year.

On the immediate horizon, you can catch the Gettys at Revolution on Saturday, July 25. You might also catch Joyce, with his hair all pompadoured up, in his other night time gig. He recently won a “Legends in Concert” Elvis impersonator contest in Branson, which secures him a spot in the “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest” in Memphis during Elvis week in August. When he's not competing, he plays private parties and shows all over the region. More moonlighting: Jason Burnett, the band's guitarist, will be the first solo guitarist to play The National Anthem at Dickey-Stephens on Aug. 3.


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