I love War. No, not the act of aggression that has been around throughout time, but the band from East L.A. The band that came to be known for working with Eric Burdon once he left the Animals, but eventually grew to greater fame on its own.
I have written about War on the blog before; once when I tried to start a series of “Throwback Thursday” music posts, and then again when I started my series of Sunday instrumental Morning Grooves. One thing War’s music does for me is evoke a sense of atmosphere. “All Day Music,” for example, reminds me of relaxing in the early evenings with music either on the radio, or music player. It also makes me think of the “mental jukebox” that plays music in my head almost 24/7. “City, Country, City” with its shifts in tempo, sets the mood from the slower pace of the country, to the faster pace of the city. Other songs, like the well-known “Low Rider” and “The Cisco Kid” also give a sense of time and place.
It is with that sense of their ability to evoke a sense of place and time, that I chose today’s Morning Groove. Incidentally, today’s song was released on the first day of summer in 1976. Today’s Groove is “Summer” by War.
Besides meeting my “summer” in the title theme for the week, this may be the song that, at least to me, evokes what summer is like. The lyrics mention many of the things you can find going on during the summertime, and the groove is easy and laid back. One thing you can always count on with War is that they wear their East L.A. roots well. You can hear the latin influence in a lot of their records; and that is definitely present in this song, even as there were no latin members in the band. What also made War unique during their prime hitmaking period is that while most bands had a full horn section, War made do with one saxophonist and a harmonica player. Often times, that was more than enough for their grooves.
If I had a porch now, I’d sit out there while the sun was going down, with a cold one in hand and this song playing. The heat would be dying down from another warm summer day, and I would join in on the background vocals with the band. Since I don’t have a porch, playing this one with a cold one in hand will have to do.
Enjoy today’s Morning Groove, and as always, thanks for listening and reading.