Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the 19th Brood

the 19th Brood is noise/drone/scratchy/corroded sounds instigated by Don Chambers and Lukas Cane: fake, melodic, offhand, beautiful, chaotic and made-up with guitars, boxes, tape recorders, phones and other secret weapons. First show December 12th with Taxi Cab Verses at the Green Room, Athens, Georgia.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

[for Aralee Strange - poets do not sleep]

Saturday, June 8, 2013

One time Dave Marr ask me to play a show with him and I just took over the mic and started singing Journey songs (which he thought was endearing - see above). Tonight I am joining him at Hendershots for a few songs and will try to restrain myself. Shows at 8:00, 3 bucks!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Athfest CD Streaming

My song "Slipping on the Ice" is on the new Athfest 2013 Compilation CD. You can stream the Athfest CD here : http://www.theblueindian.com/features/athfest-stream/

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Friends - Most the our back catalog is up on the Bandcamp site. {http://donchambers.bandcamp.com/} You can order digital or physical copies, though physical copies are limited. Thanks to all those who bought the digital files of "A Sudden Loss of Elevation"  - there was enough demand that we went ahead and ordered a run of CD's/Digipacks that will be for sale on Bandcamp, at shows, Athens record stores, Athens Music.net, and possibly in the bins at your local thrift store right behind that well used so-n-so's Greatest Hits disk.

Eric, Lukas and I are gearing up to play Athfest this year at the Caledonia Friday night. We'll try to do some of the new songs off "Sudden...", as well as some yet to be released stuff. There is quite a line-up at the club that night.

Does anyone know if the cicadas are coming to Athens? Been waiting to hear them but all I hear are hoot owls and dogs. - don

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

July 4th Show w/ the DImmer Twins

Mike Cooley & Patterson Hood - The Dimmer Twins
with special guest DON CHAMBERS
 at Standard Deluxe
Waverly, AL
Independence Day BBQ & SHOW 2013

Gates at 5:30 pm

Dinner at 6 pm (for purchase - menu soon)

Show Starts at 7 pm

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Song / New Recordings / Show (via Flagpole Magazine)

don chambers.JPG
Local songwriter Don Chambers has spent much time exploring the "whiskey-soaked bootstomps" of a certain rowdy brand of Southern folk music, but A Sudden Loss of Elevation, Chambers' upcoming solo LP, finds him quieting down. "These are solo, acoustic, diminutive, romantic, natural recordings," says Chambers, "nothing too tricky, though a few songs did have some help from Thayer Sarrano and my wife Sanni Baumgaertner."
"Three Steps Down," a tune from the new album, which Chambers will release digitally this Thursday, May 16 via Bandcamp, is a stirring example of the songwriter's softer side, a lived-in, warmly lit meditation on life and love. The inimitable Sarrano guests on vocals.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Don Chambers with Lukas Cane and Eric Harris
Friday April 26th      The World Famous     9pm
for more info go to www.athensamericana.com

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Song on the 2013 AthFest CD Sampler

I have a new song - "Slipping on the Ice" - coming out on the 2013 AthFest CD Sampler.  AthFest is a local organization that provides education and support through AthFest Educates.

AthFest Educates inspires, engages, and educates the youth and adults of Athens in music and arts by providing sustained funding for programs and initiatives through events that showcase the community’s talent. 

This is the third song I've had on one these complilations. I'm proud to be a part of the Athens ever morphing community, it's a great petri dish of folks making things.  Release date is June 18, go to http://athfest.com/ for more info.

Thursday, March 21, 2013



Organized by the University of Georgia Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research as part of its Thinc. at UGA Entrepreneurial Week, Songs @ Ciné will feature live musical performances by Athens songwriters--including a rare solo appearance byMike Mills, formerly of the Grammy Award-winning rock band R.E.M.
The songwriter showcase will be a “song swap,” with five artists onstage simultaneously, playing and singing their songs in turn and sometimes together.
Mills will be joined by Don Chambers, veteran Athens singer-songwriter; Dave Marr, formerly of The Star Room Boys;Hardy Morris, lead singer of Dead Confederate; and Thayer Sarrano, Athens singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

The concert begins at 8:30 PM.  The event is preceded by a 7:00 PM reception in the CinéLab. 

NOTE: Advance tickets are ONLY available via this site.  You cannot purchase them at the Ciné box office.
This show will sell out.  On the night of show, any unclaimed tickets will be released at 8:15 PM at a cost of $35.  THIS SHOW IS SOLD OUT.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Little Dark Eyed Love by Jeffrey Bützer

I wrote vocals and sang a song on my friend Jeffrey's new EP, see link below.

For immediate release (2.14.13)
The Great Big record label is releasing Little Dark Eyed Love by Jeffrey Bützer: a digital EP.
This is a collection of collaborations with Molly Harvey (The Residents), Brent Hinds (Mastodon, West End Motel), Bill Taft (Smoke, Hubcap City), Don Chambers, Monica Arrington (Nerdkween), Cassi Costoulas (Jeffrey Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters) and French Composer Klimperei.
Jeffrey Bützer

1.Little Dark Eyed Love (with Molly Harvey & Brent Hinds)
2.Hoodwinked (with Don Chambers, Bill Taft & Brent Hinds)
3.The Vanishing Act (with Klimperei)
5.Little Dark Eyed Love 2 (with Monica Arrington)
6.Hoodwinked 2 (with Cassi Costoulas)

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 6 - Two of Spades

Two of Spades - scandal, gossip, danger of deceit, change, removal, loss of home, division

     When I was eleven years old  my dog was stolen by a the crazy family. We had an Irish Setter named Josh who went missing one day. After a few days of searching we got a phone call - seemed a family just a few miles away had found our dog. They said he was starving and had the mange and that they had vet bills of over two hundred dollars. He was safe at their house and we could come get him, we just needed to bring cash to repay them for all the bills. Starving and the mange in three days! My dad ask around and a few other neighbors had similar stories of rescued starving and manged dogs - it seems this family had been regularly finding animals in dire straits. That afternoon my dad and I went to the house, scoped it out and came up with a plan. The plan was simple. He would go to the front door and talk to them while I snuck around back and grabbed Josh. 
     We rolled up inconspicuously in a white LTD and parked on the side of the house. Looking over the yard I was nervous, the dirt lawn had a six foot fence around it and was strewn with trash and dog shit. The family of eight or nine standing on the porch looked desperate and empty eyed (when I first saw Deliverance I had a moment of revelation). My dad went up to the front porch and began talking to the family. I hid in the back seat of the white LTD. After a few minutes I crept out of the car and around the back of the fence. There was a second gate there and I slipped through quietly. I then began negotiating the piles of dog shit.  I saw Josh tied to a skinny pine tree near the house's back porch. As I came up to the house I could see there was no furniture inside, just trash and more shit. I could hear my dad talking using a strange voice I'd never heard him use. It must have been his espionage voice. It took forever to get across the yard. I finally got close to Josh and - with perfect timing - he barked. Irish setters bark loudly.

     This sent the eight year old running through the house towards me. I untied Josh, grabbed his collar and bolted. With the distraction of the eight year old yelling unintelligible things at me or his parents - I couldn't tell - dad had an opening to run to the car. We all three jumped in, Josh really enjoying the new game. Dad sped off in our white LTD leaving the family looking forlornly through the six foot fence. In all the confusion the simple plan had worked - we got away cleanly with Josh. Fairly cleanly - it took a long time to get the dog shit off my shoes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

William James

 "I am against bigness and greatness in all their forms, and with the invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, stealing in through the crannies of the world like so many soft rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, and yet rending the hardest monuments of man's pride, if you give them time. The bigger the unit you deal with, the hollower, the more brutal, the more mendacious is the life displayed. So I am against all big organizations as such, national ones first and foremost; against all big successes and big results; and in favor of the eternal forces of truth which always work in the individual and immediately unsuccessful way, under-dogs always, till history comes, after they are long dead, and puts them on top."
--William James

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 5 - Seven of Diamonds

Seven of Diamonds - a gift, lies, rumours, unlucky gambler

     Bad liars make lousy gamblers and even lousier songwriters. The songwriters business is to lie, as is the magician and the actor. Actors make you believe (play "make believe") he/she is someone else, has a conflict (non-existent) and feelings (fake). Magicians lie for a living - they call it misdirection. The trick happens when your eye lies to your brain because it cannot follow the ball/card/dove/girl/etc. logically. Magicians break patterns of logic (fancy way of saying they lie). Songwriters lie as well, even when they are telling you a story from their life, even if they play like they are "authentic" (nothing says "I'm just an normal guy" like jeans and flannel) at the end of the day it is a confabulation. You don't have to be a murderer to write about murdering someone. Write what you know emotionally, it will ring true if the emotion is real to you, even if the story is fiction (lie) - the devil is in the details (and he's a really good liar). You have to lie to tell the truth.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 4 - Ace of Diamonds

Ace of Diamonds - important message, or a valuable gift

     When I first heard him play I just wanted it to stop - I hated it it, I didn't understand it, it seemed like an invasion. When I first met Craig Lieske we shared a practice space, for a while we shared drummers as well. Vaudeville would have our two hour beer soaked practice of songs with a heavy downbeat and structure, then our drummer and Craig would play this wacked out noise that I couldn't stand - it was disturbing my drunk. 
     Years later I managed the Flicker Theatre and Bar and Craig was a part of the experimental scene happening there. He often played or help organize shows there, some of the most adventurous music I have ever heard in Athens. Sometime between 1994 (when I first heard Craig play) and 2001 something changed in me - my ears and brain had opened to the idea of improv, the idea of going out to parts unknown and either failing or succeeding, didn't matter - that wasn't the point. The point was to try to find the magic stuff, and to go there bravely. Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle, sometimes you flail blindly in the dark - that's the risk of trying to create something right before the audiences' eyes and ears. Craig taught me that. That was his valuable gift to me, and his important message to everyone who ever heard him play. Children play music, adults practice music. If you are lucky you learn to be a child again and open your ears and play and play and play.
     Rest in peace Craig, or in some atonal netherworld full of noise and feedback.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 3 : Three of Hearts

Three of Hearts : be cautious, an impulsive decision threatens good ones

I found a Silvertone acoustic on craigslist for $10 bucks in south Georgia. I had been hunting for an old Sears Silvertone Acoustic for a while, and ten bucks is a steal. The picture was kinda fuzzy but I knew I had never seen one like this before, it looked like something Johny Cash would play - black with a double western style white pickguard. It was about two hours away and I had butterflies all the way there - anticipating the find of the year. I arrived and went into the house, the kid selling it said he had used it as decoration in his room. I took one look at it and knew I was on a fools errand. It was a guitar at one time, now it's painted with several coats of glossy black house paint, the pick guard is made of plywood and attached to the sunken top with caulk, the Silvertone logo is a taped on copy out of a magazine, it's got hand painted "pearl inlay" and the strings sit as much as an inch off the neck. It is not tuneable and barely playable. Written on the pick guard in squiggly cursive is "Cowboy". It was impulsive to drive two hours for a ten dollar "guitar" (the gas was at least $30) , but I determined then and there to at least make a song with it. So here's a short demo version of the song, it's called "Cowboy in Disguise".

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 2 : Eight of Spades

Eight of Spades: be cautious, friends might turn out to be enemies

One of the unspoken tenets of the fundamentalist Christian church I grew up in is to trust no one who does not believe as you do. This not only includes the “worldly,” unbelieving people, but also Catholics, Mormons, Methodists, Episcopalians and anyone who does not share your point of view (which, in my church, was everyone). I don't know if it was ever explicitly said to distrust the “worldly” people, but we were taught to keep ourselves separate from them. In the mid 1970’s, there was a training course at my church to teach us how to share a tract called The Four Spiritual Laws. At the end of the training week, we were to go share The Four Spiritual Laws with three different “unsaved” people, the idea being to convert them to Christianity. This was going to be a challenge for me. First, it was a heavy assignment for a 14-year-old kid who was shy, confused, and, well, only 14-years-old. On top of that, I really didn't know many heathens—I went to church all the time and was taught not to be friends with the “worldly.” 

My first target was an elderly couple across the street. I regularly mowed their lawn, and I reasoned that, since I had never heard a "thank the Lord," seen a Bible on their coffee table, and the man smoked cigars, they 
must be unbelievers. I went over and the woman of the house agreed to listen to me nervously read the pamphlet while she looked on at various charts and graphs that explained her (rather unenviable) position in relation to God’s. When I finished, she was supportive and kindly patted me on the back, avoiding the praying part at the end by asking when I could cut the grass again, as it was growing fast that summer from all the rain.  She made me feel better in spite of my presumptuousness and the awkwardness of the situation. I left feeling oddly comforted by my “worldly” neighbor. 
The next person I approached was Matt, a classmate from school. He used swear words and never talked about church, so I figured his allegiances were obvious. One day, he came over to my house after school. I was still nervous but committed to try and sell The Four Spiritual Laws with more confidence than before. As I started, Matt interrupted to say he had a joke to tell me: 
Matt: Why does the Easter Bunny hide Easter eggs? 
Don: I don't know Matt, why?
Matt: He doesn't want anyone knowing he's been fucking the chickens! 
At first I was flabbergasted, then I laughed, then I felt guilty I laughed, since I had just heard a dirty joke and here I was about to try to save him! So, I asked Matt why he told me the joke. He responded that he thought I seemed nervous and wanted to “loosen things up a bit.” After that, I went through The Four Spiritual Laws half-heartedly, skipping the prayer at the end, since, after the bunny joke, it all rang a little false. Matt left with a smile and patted me on the back. Like before, my spiritual mission had ended with another “worldly” person comforting me! After my experiences with these two “worldly” individuals, I decided not to share The Four Spiritual Laws with a third.

Eight of Spades: enemies might turn out to be friends

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 1 : Joker

Growing up, I went to church camp every summer. One year, my cabin mate Charlie brought a deck of playing cards his recently deceased grandfather had given him. Our preacher (who was also Camp Director) saw the cards sitting in Charlie's suitcase and confiscated them, saying he wanted to show us something special with them. I thought we were in for a great magic show: a lesson in one handed shuffling, palming or a quick demonstration of three-card Monte. Later that night, we all gathered in the main meeting hall. I knew it would be special because they had lit a fire in the large fireplace even though it was the middle of summer. The Camp Director came up front after the obligatory prayer, holding the cards with no table in sight. I knew that meant no three-card Monte or table tricks of any kind, so maybe it would be a “vanish” or some other manipulation routine.
The Camp Director then began his patter about how playing cards have a secret history that we have all forgotten about, or perhaps suppressed. Playing cards used to have nicknames like: “The Devil’s Bible” and ‘The Devil’s Picture Book.’ Divining from regular playing cards is an old practice. They were used for fortune-telling, and this is strictly forbidden in the Bible:
Deuteronomy 18:10-12   10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.  11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
 In 1423, a German preacher called them the invention of the devil and his hearers made a huge bonfire of cards in the town square. Our preacher then began peeling Charlie's grandpa's cards off one by one dramatically explaining the "secret" meaning behind each one. He started with the Joker: "The Joker represents Jesus, the son of God. Joker means fool. Therefore Jesus is being held up to ridicule. The joker is also said to be the offspring of the Jack and the mother of harlots." With a look of disgust he flicked the card into the fire (which, I admit, looked kinda cool and was the closest thing to a card trick he did that night). The Camp Director went on through the rest of Charlie's grandpa's deck, explaining with more and more fervor the evils of the pasteboard gateways to a life of sin and blasphemy. Charlie balled tears of grief, and I imagine he saw his grandpa in every single one of those cards, a memory of him burning with each flick into the fire.
That preacher was never Camp Director again after that year.
This year once a week I will pick a random card from my own deck of cards and share the meaning, or let it be an instigator to some random thought.  I want to let them create their own narrative—create, not destroy.