News: Bonneville Releases Funky Instrumental ‘The Chase’ Inspired by 70s Car Chase Scenes

Southern retro soul band Bonneville release ‘The Chase’, the fifth single from their second album, ‘Flying Machine’. This jammy, funky homage to 1970s urban thriller movie car chases stands out as the album’s sole instrumental track, bringing a cacophony of funk to life.

Bonneville has established a reputation for its retro-soul and funky R&B sound, deeply rooted in Southern artistry. Their music reflects a passion for preserving the legacy of classic soul while igniting a modern appreciation for these timeless grooves.

‘The Chase’ draws inspiration from the gritty edge of inner-city themes, reminiscent of tracks like ‘Are You Man Enough?’ by The Four Tops and the iconic theme from Shaft. This funk opus showcases the stellar musicianship of the Muscle Shoals FAME Recording Studios ensemble, along with Bonneville’s creative writing prowess.

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

While the song draws from the genius of Lalo Shifrin, fans will also detect influences from 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,” adds band member Wes McGee.

The creation of ‘The Chase; emerged from a blend of 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 around it,” he says. This idea blossomed during a discussion about 1970s film soundtracks with McGee, sparking a riff reminiscent of ‘Starsky and Hutch.’ “Wakka chicks wakka,” McGee remembers. “And we ran with it.”

With the song’s direction set, Hayashi and McGee eagerly spotlighted the FAME Studios musicians. “We wanted to highlight the enormous talent of all the musicians we met in Muscle Shoals,” McGee notes. Hayashi adds, “The breadth of talent in Muscle Shoals is staggering, giving me confidence in the writing and execution of our vision.”

Hayashi aimed to craft a hook-filled ensemble, offering each musician a solo while maintaining a cohesive arrangement. “I wanted layers in a straightforward rhythmic arrangement where all musicians could shine individually,” he says. ‘The Chase’ thus pays homage to the era of funk and soul, celebrating the musicians’ skill and creativity.

In the studio, GRAMMY®-recognized producer Starita helped bring the track to fruition. “With Jeff’s idea for a 70s movie theme tune, we needed an army of players. Recording in Muscle Shoals, we had access to a rich pool of studio musicians. This song features a full horn section, flutes, strings, vibraphone, percussion, guitars, bass, and drums. The musicians nailed it and more,” Starita recalls. “My approach was simple: get the right players in the room and stay out of the way. Jeff’s clear vision made the process smooth.”

The production team for ‘The Chase’ includes band members Jeff Hayashi (songwriter, guitar, co-producer, arranger), Starita (producer), Charles Brooks (vibraphone), Andy Dixon (bass), Brad Kuhn (keys), Justin Holder (drums), Caleb Elliot (cello), Kimi Samson (violin), Will McFarlane (guitar), Brad Guin (flute, saxophone), Vincent Ciesielski (trumpet), Sarah Morrow (trombone), and Wes Sheffield (lead guitar, recording engineer, mixer, mastering engineer). The album was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, with creative direction and photography by Tam Akiko, and released by Starita Records, a division of Starita Music.

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