Don Chambers Playing Solo at Propaganda on July 11
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.