Lester Chambers – Lester Chamber’s A Tribute to Jimmy Reed
Stump N Mud Records
11 tracks/34 minutes
Chambers Brothers co-founder and lead singer Lester Chambers has produced an album to give tribute to Jimmy Reed. He met Reed when he was 14 years old at the Orpheum Theater. He was moved and it helped spur a career that rocketed he and his brothers to top the music charts. But success was not permanent. His 2022 biography tells the story of his hardships including cancer and living on the streets. He is an iconic figure and this album highlights his love for the blues and Jimmy Reed.
The album features Lester on vocals, harp and narration. Dre Jonson is on bass and drums. Dave Aguillar is on the guitars. Terry Haggerty is a special guest on acoustic guitar.
The first track is an introduction by Chambers. He moves into heartfelt renditions of “Shame Shame Shame” and “Take Out Some Insurance.” Harp and guitar shine. The hits “Big Boss Man” and “Bright Light Big City” follow. Lester’s vocals have declined a bit over the years, but his delivery and performances are filled with passion and emotion. “Found Love” is next, a pretty shuffle with nice harp and guitar continue.
“Down In Mississippi” is the acoustic cut that has a beautiful, down home feel to it. Next us “You Got Me Dizzy,” again with super harp licks a a pretty groove, too. Many a belly have rubbed on “Honest I Do” and Chambers gives it his all here. He continues with another thoughtful, slow tempo-ed cut, “Caress Me Baby.” He concludes with a second acoustic number “Baby You Don’t Have to Go.” He howls out the vocals and blows some more good harp as Haggerty picks out some licks.
Chambers’ career in blues, gospel, rock and more could have been even bigger without a manager who was crooked and who could promote such a musically diverse and talented band. Couple that with his health and all, it is great to have him back and performing. He performs with real passion and love- you can tell these songs mean something to him. As he strains to move along vocally, one gets a real bluesy and Mississippi Delta feel to the performances. One has to sit back and think what would have happened to he and his brothers with a well-managed career that would have maintained their stardom and great music. It was nice to hear Lester once again!
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