‘Summer of Soul’ Star (Lester Chambers) Discusses Civil Rights and Music on MSNBC | LOOK

Lester Chambers (and his son) – Moonalice

*During the weekend, soul summer rock star and pioneer Lester Chambers (of the Chambers Brothers) appeared on MSNBC Velchi to discuss the importance of black psychedelic music to the civil rights movement, his career with the Chambers Brothers, and pursuing music today with Moonalice.

The best takeaways included:

* Alongside church music and gospel, psychedelic soul played a crucial role in the soundtrack of the civil rights movement. Lester Chambers refers to it as “A great rhythm walker and a great crowd gatherer.”

* Lester’s struggles as a black musician in the ’60s.”The pressures were danger and fear of being alive,” recalls Lester. “It wasn’t easy to feel comfortable while you were driving interstate or across the country.”

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* The timeless Chamber Brothers song”The time has come todayremains as relevant today as it was in the 1960s and the civil rights movement.

People are tired of what we live with and what we have to live with. says Lester. “Harmony is the key. You have to put the world in harmony and music can do that.

Born in 1940 in Carthage, Mississippi, Lester Chambers grew up in southern Jim Crow. Lester miraculously escaped the life of a sharecropper to become a leader of the black psychedelic movement, which T: The New York Times Style Magazine recently called”one of the most enduring and influential art movements of the 20th century.” He formed the Chambers Brothers alongside his brothers George, Joe and Willie, and the group moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s. In 1967, at the height of the civil rights movement, the Chambers Brothers song “The time has come todayhas become an anthem for America’s disenfranchised and disillusioned youth. The song held number 11 for five weeks on the Billboard Top 100 and propelled the band to national stardom. More recently, the Chambers Brothers played their hit “Downtown” in Questlove nominated for the Oscars soul summer documentary.

Today, Lester performs in the 10-piece Bay Area collective Moonalice with his son Dylan Chambers. The collective promotes “love, peace and happiness” and performs reworked arrangements of many Lester (the Chamber Brothers) classics, including “Time Has Come Today” and “Let’s Get Funky.”

Lester Chambers was recently interviewed by American songwriter to discuss Moonalice and the legacy of “Let’s Get Funky.” Read it here.

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