Richard Elliot Album Summer Madness
I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and there was a lot of funk in my life as I was growing up. The first concert I attended was Tower of Power and Peaches & Herb. Now that was an interesting introduction to live music! Tower of Power came out onto the stage with that Horn section, and immediately I became a fan of live musicianship. The TOP Horn Section is so revered, they even have their own discography.
I am still unsure of the greatest horn section of that era:
- Tower of Power
- Earth Wind & Fire
Too close to call!
Interestingly enough, Richard Elliot was a member of Tower of Power for five years during the 1980’s. That background is evident on his latest release, Summer Madness. From top to bottom, we definitely have some funk here with a Bay Area influence.
The obvious nods to the Bay are here with West Coast Jam and Cachaca, two songs that will make you get up and dance…..You know that dance you do as you say, “Damn, that is MY jam!” The album also has a song written from a Bay Area legend, Carlos Santana. Europa (Earths Cry Heavens Smile) is the perfect slow jam to listen to on a hot summer night.
Speaking of remakes, the title track, Summer Madness is on point. About halfway through, there is a musical bridge….something that does not appear in the Kool & the Gang recording. That one part makes this song an original in my book.
The upbeat tracks include Harry The Hipster and Slam-O-Rama. They both have those funky drum licks that make me what to hear these songs played live. Ludicrous Speed is a jam that will bring visions of the master himself, James Brown.
My favorite track on the album may be Back to You. This is a mid-tempo song that sits right in that groove. The background vocals are subtle, but necessary to complete the song.
Overall, I love the way the horn parts are layered, as the harmonies are hard to beat.
This is an album that you will love….Every song just make you feel good. I must say that this is Richard’s best effort to date!