Chicago’s pop soul band The Right Now premiere their version of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” originally released in 1966.
The seven-piece band includes Stefanie Berecz (vocals), Brendan O’Connell (keyboards), Chris Corsale (guitar), Jim Schram (tenor sax), Lucas Gillan (drums), Greg Nergaard (bass), and Caleb Mitchell (trumpet).
Blending soul grooves with sprinkles of pop, The Right Now has dropped three albums since 2008, had their music featured in the video game Watch Dogs, and appeared on stage with Fitz & The Tantrums, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Rebirth Brass Band, Bettye LaVette, and Lee Fields.
In 2017, The Right Now dropped Starlight, their third full-length album, reaping enthusiastic reception. The band’s new single, an afrobeat-infused version of “For What It’s Worth,” was recorded in only one day at Temperamental Studios, a converted 19th century church, in New York. In light of the current social context, the band decided a revamped version of the song was appropriate.
Bandleader Brendan O’Connell says, “We felt that in light of what’s happening in our country with this administration, it was our duty to take a stand and speak out.”
“For What It’s Worth” opens with a blaze of horns, followed by a hefty syncopated groove. The funk-filled bray of the organ imbues the tune with infectious hues of color. Tight, skanking guitar riffs provide compact flavors, as stuttering brass tones ignite the atmosphere overhead.
The electrifying timbres of Berecz’s powerhouse voice galvanize the tune with bright energy and palpable textures. As the song climaxes, the vocals assume a psychedelic echo effect, tantalizing and unrestrained.
The five-decades-old lyrics still pack a socially-charge punch, especially in today’s politically-charged climate.
“What a field-day for the heat / A thousand people in the street / Singing songs and carrying signs / Mostly say, hooray for our side / It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound / Everybody look what’s going down.”
The Right Now’s updated funked-out version of “For What It’s Worth” is first-rate. The electrifying intensity of the music not only rattles your bones, but gets you thinking about the song’s message.