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  • Dave Bedford

Southern Retro Soul Band Bonneville Releases Latest Single 'The Chase'

Southern retro soul band, Bonneville, released ‘The Chase,’ the fifth single from their second album, ‘Flying Machine,’. ‘The Chase’ is a jammy, funky homage to 1970s car chase scenes in urban thriller movies. It stands out as the album’s sole instrumental track, with its thick, rich sound of a cacophony of funk.

Bonneville has carved out a reputation for its retro-soul, funky R&B sound. Their body of work reflects their Southern artistic roots, their passion to preserve the musical legacy of this era, and their tireless effort to reignite the appreciation and celebration of classic soul grooves through their unique blend of styles.

Drawing inspiration from the inner-city edge portrayed in songs like ‘Are You Man Enough?’ by The Four Tops and the theme to ‘Shaft,’ ‘The Chase’ is a funk opus showcasing the stellar musicianship of the Muscle Shoals FAME Recording Studios musicians and creative writing from Bonneville.

“‘The Chase’ captures the essence of 1970s cinematographic crime/action films such as ‘Dirty Harry,’ ‘Shaft,’ and ‘Streets of San Francisco’,” explains band member, co-producer, and co-songwriter, Jeff Hayashi. “Visualize a car chase from ‘Starsky & Hutch’ speeding through the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco. As the only instrumental track Bonneville has recorded to date, it highlights everyone’s individual talent while being true to the classic Bonneville sound.”

Though music by Lalo Shifrin, a master arranger and composer of countless film and television scores, influenced the song, fans will also hear the influence of Curtis Mayfield and Vulfpeck. “After listening to ‘The Chase,’ I hope fans want to throw on their butterfly collars and platforms and watch an old 70’s cop thriller,” says band member, Wes McGee.

The genesis of ‘The Chase’ emerged from inspiration and experimentation. Hayashi recalls how the main horn line came to him in a dream. “It was a timeless melody. I knew right away that I needed to build a funk orchestra out of it and expand upon it,” he says. Meanwhile, while discussing the golden age of 1970s films and their iconic soundtracks with McGee, Hayashi started a riff reminiscent of ‘Starsky and Hutch.’ “Wakka chicks wakka,” McGee recalls. “And we ran with it.”

In the studio, GRAMMY®-recognized producer Starita collaborated on ‘The Chase’ to bring it to final production vision. “With Jeff’s idea to do a 70s movie theme style tune, it was clear we were going to need an army to play on the song. Luckily, we recorded in Muscle Shoals which has a rich pool of studio musicians that can play anything. This song has a full horn section – 2 flutes, strings, vibraphone, percussion, 3 guitars, bass, and drums. I was most excited to see what all of the Muscle Shoals studio musicians would do with a tune like this. As always, they nailed it and more. It was so exciting to have a song where everyone had a chance to show off in the spotlight,” Starita says. “With this track, my approach was simple as always when working in Muscle Shoals - get the right players in the room together and stay out of the way. I just made sure we got the takes we needed and let everyone play their hearts out. Given Jeff had such a clear idea of what he wanted on this tune, it went relatively easy given the amount of players there are on this song. The core band cut the basics early on and then we went back in to add even more instrumentation.”



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