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  Chambers Brothers
 

 

 

Click below for a Chambers Brothers  sample:

Funky

  

 
Pioneers of black rock, the Chambers Brothers travelled a long way from their native Mississippi for their few years of glory in the late 60s.  George (bass), Lester (harmonica), Joe (guitar) and Willie (guitar) grew up in a sharecropping family before relocating to California following George's dismissal from the military.  They made the decision to change from gospel to rock following the addition of drummer Brian Keenan in 1965. 

With the revamped lineup and image, the Chambers began attracting attention not only for their music, but also for being an interracial band during the peak of the civil rights movement.  Within a year, they had performed at the Fillmore, Newport Folk Festival, and Apollo Theatre, leading to a contract with Columbia in 1967.  Their magnum opus was "Time Has Come Today," eleven minutes of psychedelia that captured the spirit of the times with lyrics expressing a slightly ominous, live-for-today sensibility like "I might get burned up by the sun/But I've had my fun."  An edited version reached #11 in 1968.

Other singles, like their revisionist take on Otis Redding's "Can't Turn You Loose" and "All Strung Out," charted but failed to reach the heights of "Time."  They continued to record until breaking up in 1972.   The band reformed for a couple of mid 70s releases on Avco before disbanding again.

Chambers Brothers' Deepest Grooves

The Time Has Come (Columbia, 1968)

A New Time, A New Day (Columbia, 1968)

Love Peace and Happiness (Columbia, 1969)

Live at Fillmore East (Columbia, 1970)

A New Generation (Columbia, 1971)
Tucked away on this album is their highest-charting record on the soul charts, "Funky," which made the top 40.  A Tribe Called Quest showcased their crate-digging prowess by using this for the basis of "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo."

Unbonded (Avco, 1974)

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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