Lester Chambers' Blues Revue

Lester Chambers' Blues Revue

 San Francisco, California, USA
BandBluesRock

Lester Chambers was born and raised with his seven brothers and five sisters in pre-WWII rural Lee County Mississippi. His god-fearing southern Baptist parents encouraged all thirteen of their children to sing in the choir of a little country church where his father was a Deacon. This early passion for music continued when the family moved to South Central Los Angeles in the early 1950s' where the elder Chambers' helped established the Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church in a storefront building

Biography

Lester Chambers was born and raised with his seven brothers and five sisters in pre-WWII rural Lee County Mississippi. His god-fearing southern Baptist parents encouraged all thirteen of their children to sing in the choir of a little country church where his father was a Deacon. This early passion for music continued when the family moved to South Central Los Angeles in the early 1950s' where the elder Chambers' helped established the Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church in a storefront building. The popularity of that new church had a lot to do with the rocking gospel Lester and his brothers served up every Sunday.

Around the time the Beatles left England for America, Lester and his brothers ventured into L.A.'s fabled Ash Grove coffee house and began singing their special blend of gospel and folk music. An old acoustic guitar, stand up bass and those heavenly voices led by Lester on harmonica and cow bell soon had folks lined up down Melrose in West Hollywood. One night in 1967 Ash Grove owner Ed Pearl paid them with a 1956 Cadillac and the Time had come for the Chambers Brothers to hit the road that eventually led to New York City. Along the way Lester recalls seeing hundreds of colorfully dressed, long haired kids hitchhiking away from their homes in the Midwest. This hippie exodus inspired his brother Joe to pen the words to Time Has Come Today:

Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can't put it off another day
I don't care what others say
They say we don't listen anyway
Time has come today

New York was quick to embrace this unique psychedelic, rock 'n' roll, gospel group and Columbia Records scored a huge pop hit with a first ever 11-minute single. Time Has Come Today, the title track, became an anthem of the era. By now the Chambers Brothers had added a drummer (Brian Keenan) and like their good friends, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone, were filling arenas with both white and black kids for the first time.

In 1970 The Chambers Brothers were a major campus attraction, playing to thousands of students nearly every night in auditoriums and on athletic fields. On May 4th, 1970 the Kent State Massacre forced colleges and universities across the country to cancel campus concerts and gatherings. The Chambers Brothers suffered a financial setback that they never recovered from. They played on until the late 80’s and subsequently disbanded.

Today, Lester and his son Dylan and their five piece Blues/Roots/Gospel/ Band are still turning clubs and halls into church with his Lester Chambers’ Blues Revue of soul-healing up-lifting blues, roots and gospel classics. . .