Don Chambers Playing Solo at Propaganda on July 11

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 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.

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