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  • Alice Smith

Review: Retro Soul Band Bonneville Release Latest Single ‘The Chase’

Bonneville, a Southern retro-soul band, has released a new single titled ‘The Chase’. The band, a duo comprising lead singer Wes McGee and guitarist Jeff Hayashi, is known for their classic, soulful, raw, and rootsy music. Their inspiration stems from the classic Southern soul of the 60s and 70s, and they have travelled to FAME @ Muscle Shoals to record their second album, ‘Flying Machine’, to ensure authenticity.

‘The Chase’ is the lead single from this album and is an instrumental track. It stands out as an oddity given that the band features a fine singer. The track is a funky homage to 1970s car chase scenes in urban thriller movies, making it a blaxploitation tribute. It captures the essence of 1970s cinematographic crime/action films such as ‘Dirty Harry,’ ‘Shaft,’ and ‘Streets of San Francisco’. As Jeff Hayashi puts it, it’s like visualizing a car chase from ‘Starsky & Hutch’ speeding through the streets of Manhattan or San Francisco.

The track features the cream of the current Muscle Shoals session team and highlights everyone’s individual talent while being true to the classic Bonneville sound. It is a masterpiece of creative talent, with evident soul, funk, and R&B influences at work. The riff is inspired by the TV show ‘Starsky and Hutch’, and there is a definite nod to Mission Impossible theme song composer Lalo Schifrin.

The cinematic structures project a thrilling musical adventure into one’s mind. Each instrument takes on its own ‘solo’ moment, creating different curves and bends in the exciting five-minute single, much like a car chase in the aforementioned films. The production is effortless and seamless, with all musical arrangements falling perfectly into place. Producer Starita said he just let the musicians ‘play their heart out,’ and that certainly seems to have done the trick with ‘The Chase’.

Hayashi and McGee, along with their entourage of creative support, have shown what the best of group effort can do when channelled into musical means and within the right team. ‘The Chase’ is a sexy and stylish song with its own personal charm, leaving listeners on the tip of their toes, longing for more. It’s a good thing the album is just around the corner to quench that thirst! This track is a testament to the time, devotion, and love put into it, making it very commendable. It’s an instrumental universe full of potential, with so much to unpack, so much happening all at once, and so many luscious layers of funky tone and jazz to pick up on.



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