Don Chambers is playing a solo show (meaning he's without his band Goat) with Viva Le Vox at Propaganda on July 11. Chambers is an Athens Georga based singer songwriter in the Tom Waits/Nick Cave mold who's latest album, Zebulon, was produced by Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers fame. His music is, thick with banjo, steel guitar, and thumping percussion compliments dark and poetic lyrics about the shadier, unseen aspects of life. Of course, this show he'll be without Goat, so his gruff voice and songwriting will be at the forefront. Tickets for the show are just $5 at the door. Hit the jump for a mini-review of Zebulon and a video.
Don Chambers sounds like he wants to be Tom Waits and/or Nick Cave.
This is what's called damning praise. Chambers is certainly emulating
some extraordinary and unique talents with his gruff scratchy voice and
tendency to write poetic songs about the seedier aspects of life. But
it's these exact comparisons that also detract from Don Chambers. At
times, his voice sounds forced, almost comical, like in the strangely
titled fifth track "Ghosty Leg." But just when you're ready to write Mr.
Chambers off as a Waits impersonator, beautiful crafted songs like "I
Can Waltz" or the Patterson Hood-backed "Highwater" bring you back into
the fold. That is the most frustrating aspect to the 12-track album:
moments of brilliance like the aformentioned "I Can Waltz," "Highwater,"
"Falling Off the Edge of the World" and "Bind My Wounds" are tempered by
mediocre offerings like "Paint the Moon," "Ghosty Leg," and "Open the
Gates." Zebulon is certainly an album worth listening to for it's high
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points, but it doesn't hold together as a whole and you'll most likely
find yourself skipping around to your favorite two or three tracks
before moving on.