In the hopes of leavening the sometimes acidic political coverage here at So Bored, I am debuting a new feature: Underrated Artist Theater. As the name implies, this will be a space for featuring artists (mostly of past decades, mostly musicians) that deserve more props than they've received.
First up, the absolutely astonishing Chambers Brothers (not to be confused, fellow Michiganians, with the Detroit crack 'family' of the 1980s).
Four brothers born in the 30s to a sharecropper in Mississippi, the Chambers Brothers sang in their church choir before moving to Cali to try and make it as a recording group. They worked gigs for years, moving their sound toward the folk-rock they heard around them in California. In 1965 they brought on a *very* good white drummer, Brian Keenan, who plugged the group into the psychedelic and folk scenes, where they became a hit. Dylan booked them at the Newport festival, they got on TV, etc. Lester Chambers got heavily and brilliantly into the trippy psychedelic rock thing, and "Time Has Come Today hit #11. But the truly cool thing is, all that while the brothers remained dedicated to their choir group, and they returned home regularly to sing in their church!
As has happened to so many artists (especially Black artists) before them, the Chambers Brothers eventually got ripped off on royalties. They slipped into undeserved obscurity. But not here at So Bored!
Here is their freakin-awesomely harmonic version of People Get Ready:
And here is "Time Has Come Today". Unfortunately it's the short version, with all of the psychedelia edited out, but if you don't know the song, you'll get the idea:
God Bless Ye, Lester Chambers! More profiles to follow...